The Ghana Adolescent Reproductive Health (CHARH) Project has been launched in the Brong Ahafo Region to strengthen the government’s capacity to manage and implement a multi-sectoral programme geared towards the welfare of adolescents.
The project, which is being piloted in the Brong Ahafo Region with financial support from UKAid, will help scale-up cost-effective adolescent reproductive health interventions in the country, and also contribute to improvements in maternal health and adolescent reproductive health and accelerate the country’s progress towards Millennium Development Goal 5, which relates to improving maternal health.
Speaking at the launch of the project in Sunyani, a Minister of State in charge of Social and Allied Agencies, Mrs Comfort Doyoe Ghansah, said the government had put in place a number of policies and programmes aimed at improving adolescent reproductive health.
She said the government and the National Population Council, with the active support and collaboration from various stakeholders, developed the Reproductive Health Policy that provided a framework through which government and stakeholders worked to meet the reproductive health needs of adolescents.
This policy, she added, was currently being revised to make it more relevant to the current needs of adolescents.
Mrs Ghansah said in furtherance of the policy objectives, the Ghana Health Service developed the Ghana Strategic Plan for Adolescents and Young People.
“This multi-sectoral plan, which spans the period 2009 to 2015, aims to promote the health and development of adolescents through the provision of quality adolescent health care, and access to appropriate information,” she said.
In addition, she said a number of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and civil society organisations had over the years implemented numerous programmes to promote adolescent health care.
Mrs Ghansah said it was gratifying to note that the Ghana Adolescent Reproductive Health Programme had been designed to strengthen national systems and support the implementation of the Ghana Strategic Plan on the health and development of adolescents and young people.
She said the programme implementation was based on government policies, strategies and guidelines.
She said the programme would be co-ordinated by the National Population Council, in partnership with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, and would be implemented by the Ghana Health Service and the National Youth Authority.
The Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr Eric Opoku said adolescence signified a period of transition for young people to adulthood, indicating that this particular period was characterised by profound biological, cognitive, emotional and social changes that put a lot of pressure on people in this age bracket.
He added that during this period, young people required useful information and education on reproductive health care to cater for their expectations and needs to facilitate their smooth growth and integration into society.