The Ashanti Regional Health Directorate with support from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is set to roll out an adolescent health communication campaign in the Asante-Akim South Municipality.
The campaign dubbed, “Medaakye Nti” seeks to engage various stakeholders on adolescent sexual reproductive health issues with the ultimate goal of tackling teenage pregnancy in the Municipality.
As part of the strategies to make a significant impact, the Municipal Health Directorate would identify and train adolescent champions and peer support service providers to lead the advocacy and facilitate peer education sessions.
There shall also be community sensitisation and outreach education sessions in collaboration with traditional leaders and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) working at the community level.
Ahead of the implementation, a stakeholders’ consultative meeting has been held at the Regional Health Directorate to discuss the role of stakeholders.
It was attended by stakeholders drawn from the Asante-Akim South Municipal Health Directorate, local CSOs and traditional rulers.
Dr. Michael Rockson Adjei, the Deputy Director in charge of Public Health, said 16 million adolescent girls gave birth globally every year with 95 per cent in low- and middle-income countries.
He said complications from early pregnancy and childbirth was the second leading cause of death among girls aged between 15 and 19 worldwide.
One out of every eight pregnancies, he noted, were among adolescents and that they also accounted for 13 per cent of all births and 15 percent of all maternal deaths in Ghana.
He said the Ashanti Region averagely recorded 18,000 teenage pregnancies between 2016 and 2020, a situation, he said, required the involvement of all stakeholders to address.
“Adolescent pregnancies have generally decreased in the last five years but there is the need for us to do more to bring the numbers down in order not to disrupt the development of our adolescent,” he appealed.
He said Asante-Akim-South was not selected because of the prevalence rate of teenage pregnancy in the municipality, but the commitment of stakeholders to health interventions as well as the huge numbers of the adolescent population.
The success of the campaign, according to him, would pave way for the extension to other districts.