The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding to sensitize the public on the Adolescent, Newborns, Maternal Health and Lead Poisoning project.
Ms Anastasiia Nurzhynska, Communication for Development Specialist, UNICEF, signed on behalf of the Fund while Professor Amin Alhassan, Director-General, GBC, signed for the Corporation.
As part of the agreement, GBC will roll out a six month comprehensive programme from August 2021 to January 2022 on its seven television channels and 18 radios stations across the country to highlight issues on the project for positive attitudes and outcomes.
Mr Kingsley Obeng-Kyere, Project Manager, said many adolescents were exposed to risks such as early pregnancies, gender-based violence, depression and lead poisoning, causing harm and even death through mental health disorders that occurred early in life.
Global research reveal that the leading cause of death for girls aged 15 to 19 is complications from pregnancy and childbirth.
He said communications and sharpened advocacy approach was necessary to shore up gains and stop a further downward trend, adding that the project would help with informed choices, worked on negative sexual and gender norms, myths, stereotypes and misinformation.
Mr Obeng-Kyere said interventions had worked in reducing the challenges faced by these adolescent girls from what it used to be, adding that under nutrition and obesity were receiving the necessary attention.
In Ghana, UNICEF and UNFPA joint programme had shaped positive and healthy gender norms, skills and behaviors around reproductive health issues, improve access to integrated gender-responsive health services for adolescent girls to develop as empowered and productive citizens.
Mr Obeng-Kyere, who is also the Producer for ‘Curious Minds’ programme for young people’s lives and development on GBC, expressed commitment to sustaining effective contents for young people.
He said the project was expected to ensure that more duty bearers would receive information on adolescents, gender and sexual and reproductive health and rights issues to support adolescent girls make informed choices.
Prof Alhassan said GBC over the year had proved to be the bedrock of development programming by expanding channels on radio, television and online.
The Professor assured stakeholders of the Corporation’s professional competencies to undertake the project which focused on Communication for Development.
Prof Alhassan said GBC was ready to implement the project and pledged to heighten awareness about adolescent Newborns, Maternal Health and Lead Poisoning issues and push for the necessary response and action.
Ms Nurzhynska commended GBC for the collaboration and express optimism that the project would create educational content for the audience to influence social norms and achieve the best interest of all children in the country.