Adolescents

Professor Akwasi Kumi-Kyereme, Dean of Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Cape Coast, on Monday called for strong responses from government to tackle challenges and barriers relating to adolescent reproductive health.

He said though some significant impact had been made with respect to addressing adolescent reproductive health issues, more needed to be done to help them make informed and better life choices.

Prof Kumi-Kyereme made the call at a capacity building workshop on Adolescent Reproductive Health issues where close to one thousand adolescents, drawn from the Central Region, participated.

The workshop was organised by the Centre for Gender Research Advocacy and Documentation (CEGRAD) with support from the United Nations Population Fund, the Central Regional Coordinating Council, and the Department of Gender.

It was under the Camp Life Titbit Programme, a flagship programme introduced in 2017 by CEGRAD to train and assist fresh university students on various topics that would help them build healthy relationships in and around campus.

Participants were schooled on decisions on values, gender relations, understanding consent and sexual harassment, home and campus living, reproductive health and digital technology and safety issues.

They included first year university students, senior high school leavers who were set for tertiary education and needed to be efficiently prepared for life in the university, as well as junior high school leavers.

Prof Kumi-Kyereme said they constituted majority of the world’s population and as such their issues ought to be viewed critically.

He, therefore, charged stakeholders, Non- Governmental Organisations and other agencies to put in more effort and not relent in advocating in the area of adolescent reproductive health.

Dr Theresah Addai-Mununkum, Coordinator for Advocacy and Research at CEGRAD, said the event formed part of the Centre’s outreach programmes and social responsibility.

She said the immediate environment made it necessary to help indigenes on ways they could relate and negotiate their relationship with colleagues, roommates, and course mates among others.

“It is also in response to addressing sexual and gender based violence and adolescent pregnancy facing communities in the Central Region,” she added.

Dr Addai-Mununkum said the facilitator approach had been adopted to make participants relate better and freely share their experiences.

Mrs Thywil Eyra Kpe, the Acting National Director for the Department of Gender, urged participants to make healthy choices, especially about their reproductive health, which constituted a vital part of their life and general safety.

Miss Erica Mensah, a participant, said she had been enlightened on the issues and commended CEGRAD for what she described as a “rich and an all-inclusive programme.”

Other participants lauded the initiative, with some saying it had to be organised on regular basis.

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