Madam Albertina Alipui, Acting Finance and Administration Manager, Volta Educational Renaissance Foundation (VEReF) has called on parents to develop interest in programmes aimed to promote adolescent sexual reproductive health.
She said most parents have shunned programmes regarding education on sexual reproductive health, teenage pregnancy, girls’ empowerment, Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), unsafe abortion, and Sexual and Gender-based Violence (SGBV).
Madam Alipui was speaking at a sensitisation programme aimed at empowering parents on adolescent sexual reproductive health issues and the need for them to champion such issues.
This situation is a great challenge, she said, and was negatively affecting adolescent reproductive health, resulting in high teenage pregnancies and dropouts.
She said it was therefore important for parents to get involved in such programmes to enable them become enlightened on the issue so they could help address the problems and to demand access to sexual reproductive health services for their adolescents.
It was held for 21 parents from five communities in the South Dayi District, out of which 10 were drawn from selected project communities to support the Adolescent Girls Project at the community level.
The programme was organised by the Alliance for Reproductive Health Rights (ARHR) in collaboration with VEReF with funding from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
Madam Alipui disclosed that some adolescents also shied away from network meetings, which provided them opportunity to deliberate with their peer educators on possible ways to deal with challenges confronting their well-being.
She implored parents to encourage their adolescents to attend such meetings as it would empower them to be more assertive in making rightful choices to safeguard their future.
Mr Churchill Oforikumah, an Adolescent Reproductive Health Activist, a teacher and Assembly-member of Dzogbati, urged parents to engage their adolescents on sexual education at all times.
He said such education was important to empower adolescents to demand for their reproductive health rights and also report people pestering them for sex.
Mr Oforikumah took the participants through the various forms of Gender Based Violence and the channels through which they could report violence to the appropriate authorities for quick redress.
He charged parents to report issues of defilement, rape and others against their adolescents to the relevant authorities for action, and avoid shielding such perpetrators.
There was role play performance by some adolescent girls to facilitate demand for family planning services and possible ways of addressing sexual reproductive health, gender based violence, teenage pregnancy, STIs/HIV, unsafe abortion among others.