Traditional Authorities To Promote Sexual Reproductive Health

Promote Reproductive Health Education Among Adolescents
Promote Reproductive Health Education Among Adolescents

Traditional authorities within the Funsi Traditional Area in the Wa East District have pledged their support to promote sexual and reproductive health (SRH) education by organizing durbars in their communities.

This came to light following a stakeholder engagement by the Upper West Regional Youth Parliament with support from Plan International Ghana on promoting SRH education and reducing teenage pregnancies in the Wa East District.

The engagement, held on April 24, 2024, at Funsi, Wa East District capital, brought together various stakeholders including traditional authorities, the clergy, parents, education and healthcare workers, Assembly Members, and young people.

The Speaker of the Youth Parliament, Rt Hon James Baba Anabiga said the promotion of SRH education and reduction of teenage pregnancies needed multiple approaches and that various stakeholders have significant roles to play in educating adolescents and other community members about SRH.

“And this needs a multi-dimensional approach to be tackled and that is why we are involving diverse groups of stakeholders and different approaches. Everybody has a role to play in this matter: parents, chiefs and traditional leaders, teachers, health workers, imams and pastors, everybody here including the adolescents themselves,” he said.

Through focused group discussions, the various stakeholders came out with strategies they would implore in promoting SRH education to help reduce teenage pregnancies and related vices.

The traditional authorities, therefore, identified public sensitization as a viable strategy to educating their community members, including parents and adolescents, about sexual and reproductive health and wellbeing.

Presenting their strategies, the Assembly Member for Buffiama Electoral Area, Hon Moses Kankpan, on behalf of the group, read: “We will organize regular community durbars in the various communities where we will invite health professionals to come and speak to our parents and kids as to some of the things we need to do to prevent teenage pregnancies.”

The traditional authorities also pledged to seek airtime at a local radio station to sensitize the listening public about reproductive health and related issues.

All the other stakeholder groups at the meeting presented their strategies including sensitization activities, capacity enhancement, enhanced service delivery, provision of needs, and working collaboratively as the case may be.

Hon Kankpan also indicated that the discussions at the meeting were worth sharing with other Assembly Members and pledged to raise the issues during the next Assembly sitting.

“I think my coming here, I have been abreast with certain things that I know if we go by them, my only prayer is that we shouldn’t just hear them and go and throw them away, if we can put them into place, I think at the end of the day, teenage pregnancy, if not stopped, would be reduced to the minimal.

“I think what we need to do is, whatever message that was given to us here would be relayed at the Assembly any time we have an Assembly meeting,” he said.

He urged the parents to patronize the community durbars that the traditional authorities would be holding to learn best practices including “providing the basic needs of our adolescents to prevent them from getting pregnant at the teenage stage.”

Mr. Dumah Seidu Timothy, a parent, said the engagement provided hopes that adolescent girls can be relieved from a lot of burden if the discussions are followed to the letter.

“This program has taught me a lot. Going forward, I think when I go back, I will encourage many parents to take up their duties as parents. I think that is a big challenge facing us as parents here.

“We are not taking up responsibility the best way we are supposed to: provision of the basic needs for our children, taking care, advising our children the right way, not even giving attention to them when they want to talk to us but I think today, I have learned a lot and I will encourage a lot of parents if we can go by these, our children will have the best of advice and they will take the best of advice from us,” he said.

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