Ghana needs GH¢5.7 billion to implement Adolescent Health Service Policy

By Christabel Addo, GNA  

Accra, Sept. 27, GNA – Dr Daniel Osei, a
Consultant at the Office of the Director-General of the Ghana Health Service, said
Ghana needed a total of GH¢5.7 billion to implement its 2016 to 2020 Adolescent
Health Service Policy and Strategy.

However, he explained that since the country
was left with just two years, 2019 to 2020, to reach the set date, it needed
only about GH¢3.6 billion for the implementation of the Policy and its
Strategies.

Dr Osei, who was addressing the Inter-Agency
Coordinating Committee on Contraceptive Security (ICC/CS), at a dissemination
meeting on the Costed Adolescent Health Service Policy and Strategy in Accra on
Thursday, said more of such funding would be channelled into sustained
education and screening for  communicable
and non-communicable diseases among adolescents aged between 12 and 19 years.

He said quality and expanded services would
also be offered to ensure safe delivery for pregnant adolescents, enhance their
nutritional statuses, and ensuring comprehensive contraceptive security to help
them make informed choices and decisions.

He said there were both long and short term
benefits of the early education and screening of this key group, as it would
save the country from the huge future cost implications from protracted
diseases such as cancers, diabetes, hypertension, as well as malnutrition
defects.

He stated that there would be short-term
surveys to assess the impact of strategies targeted at addressing issues
including good nutrition, comprehensive sexuality education, behaviour change,
and spacing of births to ensure good health of adolescents.

It is envisaged that about 90 per cent of
adolescents would be reached with improved health literacy to ensure good
health and reduce the disease burden of the country by the year 2020.

Dr Osei explained that the amount needed
although huge, could be mobilised through existing programmes and interventions
of all stakeholders including government and non-governmental agencies.

He therefore urged all players to rise up and
mobilise more resources, and bring to the fore their current activities and
programmes, to enable them identify the remaining gaps in funding to be
presented to the government for the needed funding.

Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, the Director for the
Family Health Division of the Ghana Health Service, who chaired the meeting,
stressed on the importance of spending more money now to address the health
needs of adolescents, to secure the future savings of the government.

He said the coasting of the Adolescent Health
Service Policy and Strategy was done in consultation with key stakeholders, and
the purpose was to present it to the broader group to guide them in the costing
of their respective programmes and activities.

GNA

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