The National Youth Authority (NYA) in collaboration with DFID and the Futures Group an NGO, has organised a one day seminar on adolescent reproductive health for national youth leaders.
The one day clinic, which attracted about 50 youth leaders, was aimed at discussing and identifying critical areas of concern in Adolescent and Sexual Reproductive Health (ASRH), afford the leaders to make an advocacy statement for increased support for out-of-school adolescents and reproductive health services.
Addressing the participants, Mr Mensah Etsibah, the Director of Organisation and Programme, NYA, said the clinic was also to update the knowledge of youth leaders to enable them to provide information and direction on ASRH issues to young people they come into contact with.
He said the clinic was meant for youth leaders because they were deemed to be of great resource for promoting health issues in the society.
“Adolescence is a pivotal and somewhat volatile time during which young people are in the process of movement from the external control of childhood to more internal control of adulthood”, he said.
He said adolescence was also the time when the youth were prone to relying on outside influences to satisfy their sexual and reproductive health curiosity.
He cited the use of social media, increased travel, urbanisation, and greater access to dangerous substances as some of the issues which influence the sexual behaviour of young people.
He said the clinic or seminar would also provide a platform whereby young people would be able to discuss their challenges and how it could be addressed.
Mr Estibah said the focus was on youth leaders because they provide a great following as well as exert an appreciable level of control on their followers, thus they would be able to impact the knowledge they acquire on their followers.
Ms Alaya Adogbaba, the Programme Officer, Future Group, an NGO, said the organisation was also liaising with the Ghana Health Service and the National Population Council to educate the youth on sexual health.
She advised adolescents to confirm any information they get from the internet, and other non-reliable sources from the right and accurate sources.
Some of the topics discussed included “Investing in Adolescent Reproductive Health: A Necessity for a Country’s Development”, “The Adolescent Health and Development Programme in Ghana: The Background on ASRH Issue, Current Interventions and Expected Role of Youth Leaders”, and “Social Media as an Advocacy Tool in Reproductive Health Communication”.
Some of the participating organisations include the Ghana Red Cross Society, the Ghana Scouts Association, the Ghana Muslim Students Association and the Catholic Youth Organisation.