Abesim, March 21, GNA – The Ghana Adolescent Reproductive Health (GHARH) Project Team has established Adolescent School Health (ASH) Clubs in 32 Senior High Schools (SHSs) in the country.
It comprises of 20 clubs in the Brong-Ahafo Region and 12 in the Greater-Accra Region, Mr David Z. Logan, Team Leader of the GHARH Project said in an interview with Ghana News Agency (GNA) during a two-day ‘Work Planning Workshop’ over the weekend at Abesim, near Sunyani.
The workshop, organised jointly by the Ghana Office of GRM Futures Group, an international non-governmental organization (NGO) and the National Population Council (NPC) Secretariat was attended by about 150 participants from the eight Municipalities and 19 Districts in the Brong-Ahafo Region.
It was sponsored by the Department for International Development (DFID) of the United Kingdom, which is also the funding agency of the GHARH Project through the Ghana Office of GRM Futures Group, with the NPC, Ghana Health Service (GHS), Ghana Education Service (GES) and the National Youth Authority (NYA) as collaborators in the implementation of the Project.
The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) through the Regional Coordinating Councils (RCCs) as the umbrella bodies of the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs), are the other implementing and coordinating partners of the Project.
Mr Logan said the workshop was to ‘Review and address ‘Year One’ Implementation challenges and emerging issues’, ‘Provide an update on and overview of strategic areas for ‘Year Two’, spanning April 2015 to March 2016 and also ‘Support the partners and stakeholders to develop related activities and supporting budgets for Year Two’.
He said the ASH Clubs had been formed as platforms for information and service provision to students on adolescent reproductive health (ARH) and also targeted out-of-school youth by training peer educators to embark on an outreach for out- of- school youth in the communities.
Mr Logan, who is also the Head of the Ghana Office of the GRM Futures Group, a quality health promotion and advocacy NGO, implied that through the Clubs the youth would be educated, sensitized, trained and mentored to avoid social vices like drug abuse, pre-marital sex and early pregnancy.
He expressed optimism that it would lead to a secured socio-economic future of the young people because ‘there is leadership development training to guide them in their future endeavours’.
Mr. Logan hoped that would also benefit the country through the reduction of teenage pregnancy and child-bearing whilst improving the provision of family planning services for young people.
He explained ‘if the in-school youth avoid early sex and pregnancy, they are likely to remain in school to complete their education successfully to become valuable members of their communities’.
Mr. Logan expressed satisfaction that ‘the GHARH project has succeeded in raising awareness about adolescent sexual reproductive health issues with young people in the communities as the targets, as well as the gatekeepers, consisting of the traditional, religious and opinion leaders, parents and teachers, who are also the constituents of the project’.
The GHARH Project is in its first year of implementation in the Brong-Ahafo Region, he added.
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