The Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG), an NGO has call for the amendment of the Ghana Aids Commission Act to include specific provisions for adolescents and young people.
The organization was of the view that, the amendment of the Act would instil some consciousness among the youth to participate actively and meaningful in the national HIV response.
Mr Ismael Kwesi Selassie, the Youth Programmes Coordinator, PPAG made the call on Thursday in Accra at a stakeholder’s workshop dubbed ‘Youth Uproot Campaign’ on HIV response.
The campaign is a social marketing tool to promote youth participation and raise awareness towards policies on the obstacles, hindering the youth to prevent themselves from HIV infections and denying them their right to health.
Mr Selassie called on government to take a second look at the Ghana Education Service policy on condom in view of the comprehensive sexuality education and the Sexual Reproductive Right services.
He stated that, there was the need to invest in the health and well-being of adolescents and young people for the nation’s development.
The Youth Coordinator called for an institutional framework to embolden meaningful youth participation and engagement on national discourse on sexual reproductive issues.
“We need to re-focus on national programme and national response to ensure that young people are central to national response, calling for the National Youth Authority to play its facilitative and coordination role assertively and responsively”, he added.
He appealed to partners and stakeholders to raise alert and demand that young people fully participate in youth activities at all levels and times.
Mr Joshua Atabinore Akhariyeya, the Uproot Team Lead said a report conducted by their outfit on HIV Response revealed youth participation in decision making was below 50 per cent, an indication that the youth are not involved in national issues of interest.
He said the report revealed that youth involvement in partnership was above 75 per cent, an indication that the youth are creating and strengthening strategic partnerships with other youth organizations, allowing the achievement of commitments agreed in the 2016 political declaration on HIV/AIDS possible.
He said the beneficiaries sector result was 75 per cent, meaning that young people including adolescents are among the primary beneficiaries of the national HIV response to a certain extent, but may include gaps in data gathering, programme design among others.
Touching on leadership, Mr Akhariyeya said the result was above 75 per cent, perceiving the youth as being empowered to take on leadership roles in the national HIV response, including decision-making and community responses.
He called for investment, technical support and political commitment by all national partners to critically assess and to ensure that laws and policies do not become obstacles to young people’s access to HIV and other sexual and reproductive health services.