Hon. Kodwo Kom Abban, The Deputy Minister of Health has called on Ghanaians to eliminate unnecessary social stigmas that pose as hindrances to Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) education among the adolescent youth in the country.
He said the stigma attached to SRH was one of the obstacles to adolescents going to Sexual Reproductive Health facilities to enquire about their health status in that area.
Hon. Kodwo said the most active segment in the population was those who were found in the adolescent age.
He added that the adolescent girls exposure to reproductive health education can help them prevent unwanted pregnancy whereas ignorance in that area can likely lead to a very bad future.
The Deputy Minister said certain cultural practices in the country restrict people from speaking about sex, adding “even parents are afraid to discuss it with their children”.
He added that these young girls and boys were left to explore and in that stage of exploring, they get themselves into trouble, and that if care was not taken they may not be able to reconditioned themselves for the future.
He said they would make sure that the necessary environment was created to take out all social stigma to enable girls have the freedom to discuss their Reproductive Health matters to enable.
“We at the policy level will make sure that we create the necessary environment and take out all this social stigma so that all girls can have free discussion of their reproductive health matters”, he said.
Hon. Kodwo Kom Abban, these would enable girls access easily things that will prevent pregnancy and other things related to their sexual reproductive health.
He said doing that could get children in the country to grow from being decent children to decent adulthood.
The Minister said this at the Expert Presentation and Panel Discussion on Enhancing adolescent access to Sexual Reproductive Health information and services, especially improving access to and uptake of family planning services of the Parliamentary Dialogue with the Diaspora programme organised by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) under the theme ” Year of Return – Achieving the demographic dividend: the role of the Parliamentarians”.
Dr. Isabella Sagoe-Moses, Deputy Director of Reproductive and Child Health, Ghana Health Service (GHS) said they we committed towards empowering the adolescents through the provision of SRH services to enable them contribute to the socioeconomic growth of the country.
She said a large chunk of the adolescents were asexually active and that their use of contraceptive was quite low.
She said the GHS offers services such as information education communication on puberty and changes during adolescence, SRH Assessment, Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE), Family planning services for the sexually active and many others to enhance their understanding in those matters.
She said in recent years the number of adolescents accessing the health packages had increased adding that about 612 adolescent mothers had accepted post-partum family planning.
she said over 500 nurses had been trained and assigned to adolescent corners and School sick bays to provide a wide range of services including sexual and reproductive health information and services.
Dr Gifty Addico, Chief Commodity Security Branch UNFPA in delivering a presentation on the topic “Achieving sustainable domestic financing for family planning”, said Parliamentarians should advocate for increase in the budgetary allocation for Family Planning and SRH education.
She added that family planning was an integral part of advancing development in countries around the world.
She said family planning results high return of investment for many countries and reduction of instances of unwanted pregnancies many countries.
Dr Addico said family planning and SRH education helps countries around the globe attain their development objectives.
She said investing in family planning SRH education enable women or girls to stay in schools and that they able to attain their full potentials and contribute better to society.