The Youth Harvest Foundation Ghana (YHFG), a youth focused Non-Government Organization has adopted quiz competitions as means of providing sexual and reproductive health education to adolescents in 10 communities in the Upper East Region.
The competitions were organized for Adolescent Clubs in the Datuku, Namoranteng, Nbong and Yagore communities in the Talensi District and Akaa, Saboro, adania, Akania, Agwongo and Kaba-achela communities, suburbs of Kayoro community in the Kassena-Nankana West District.
The initiative dubbed, “Sexual Health Education and Advocacy”, targeted Adolescents put into clubs of 10-14 years and 15-19 years in each of the communities to provide them with accurate information regarding their sexual life.
The quiz competitions were therefore organized to assess Adolescents’ understanding of sexual and reproductive health issues and further equip them with accurate information to access sexual and reproductive health rights and services.
Ms Khadija Hamidu, the Assistant Project Officer in charge of Research and Advocacy, YHFG, said the competitions revealed the information, knowledge and confidence gained by the adolescents which would enable them discuss their reproductive health issues with their peers, the ambassadors of reproductive health education, parents and nurses without hesitation.
“This will thereby enable adolescent girls and boys to develop positive attitudes and behaviour in dealing with their reproductive health challenges such as menstrual and wet dreams hygiene, unhealthy relationships, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) and risky behaviors,”
The Assistant Project Officer said in 2020 when schools were closed due to the coronavirus disease, the YHFG observed that adolescents were likely to engage in risky behaviour that could affect their sexual and reproductive health.
She said her outfit decided to implement the project in September, 2020 in the communities with the overall goal of contributing to improve young people’s access to Reproductive Health Education and services, to be well equipped to stand for their rights.
As part of the project, she said, 23 young people were selected and trained as Ambassadors in the beneficiary communities to form the adolescent clubs and deliver age-appropriate RHE lessons using manuals, charts and other materials towards increasing knowledge and understanding of adolescent reproductive health issues.
“Also, 25 nurses and midwives from health centers and Community-Based Health Planning System (CHPS) in those communities were trained and provided with educational and gaming materials to improve the provision of Adolescent and Youth Friendly Health Services.
“The nurses support the Ambassadors in delivering lessons on sensitive topics like Understanding pregnancy, Contraceptives and Sexually Transmitted Infections and offers practical knowledge in these areas to enrich the understanding of the adolescents,” she added.
Ms Hamidu said the main aim of the project was to contribute to reducing teenage pregnancy, forced marriage, sexual and gender based violence and achieve gender equality and the Sustainable Development Goals.
Mr Francis Akelinza Welaga, a Community Health Nurse at the Kayoro Health Center said although the facility did not have adolescent corner which initially made the young people shy to access the facility, the collaboration with YHFG had helped to motivate adolescents access to health services such as Family planning services, counselling and STIs treatment at the facility.
Certificates were awarded to Ambassadors and prizes such as books, pens, mathematical sets and sanitary pads were rewarded to all participants of the quiz competitions.