NGOs intervention reduce teenage pregnancies

The Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG) and Access, Services and Knowledge (ASK) project on Adolescent Reproductive Health is helping to reduce teenage pregnancies and abortions in the Upper East Region.

Speaking at a durbar to mark this year’s World AIDS Day in Bolgatanga on Saturday, Madam Mary Azika , a midwife of the Ghana Health Service in charge of the Plaza Health Centre, said before the intervention of PPAG and the ASK project on Adolescent Reproductive Health , teenage pregnancies and abortions were very high in the Region.

She said through the NGO’s partnership with the Ghana Health Service, the problem had begun reducing as majority of the youth visit health facilities to access comprehensive abortion care thereby, reducing health complications and deaths associated with illegal abortions.

Madam Azika said through the Peer to Peer Educators programme initiated by the two bodies in 10 communities in the Bolgatanga Municipality and its environs, many young people had been encouraged to access reproductive health services at health facilities.

“This, coupled with the free provisions of adolescent reproductive commodities such as male and female condoms, family planning pills and emergency contraceptives and counseling, cases of teenage pregnancies and abortions have reduced considerably. The continuous partnership with the Ghana Health Service will help nib the problem in the bud”, she said.

Ms Matilda Ayamga, Project Coordinator of Access Service and Knowledge (ASK) for Young People, said the two organizations through the Ghana Health Service started implementing the project dubbed” “PPAG AKS Project “targeting adolescent Reproductive Health in 10 communities in the Municipality and its environs early this year.

She said the project had recruited and trained youth volunteers in 10 communities in the Municipality and its environs who were engaged to do Peer to Peer Education and to educate and to refer youth who are in need of reproductive health services to access reproductive health care at health facilities in the Region.

“In addition, through our outreach programmes, we have provided a lot of information on reproductive health and free sexual reproductive health commodities including supporting the Ghana Health Service to provide sexual reproductive health services to the youth and we intend to continue in the ensuing year”, Ms Ayamga said.

The ASK project is being funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs through the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and being implemented in some vulnerable communities across the country with a coalition of Ghanaian local NGOs.

Among its aims is to build young people’s individual capacity to make safe choices, to make Sexual and Reproductive Health services better adapted to young people’s individual needs and to strengthen the linkages between information and service provision. GNA

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