Municipal and District Assemblies, as well as Traditional Councils, have been entreated to be at the forefront of helping to provide effective sexual and reproductive health care opportunities for young women.
A member of the Community Health Adolescent Clubs in the Wa Municipality, Miss Mubarikata Mohammed who made an appeal indicated that the move will contribute significantly to safety, general health as well as development of self-confidence and of young women. She was speaking at the presentation of a communique issued by the Network for Young Women Empowerment(NYWE) to Queenmothers in the Wa Municipality.
Miss Mohammed who is a form two student of T. I. Ahmadiyya Girls Junior High School in Wa observed that the health of young people forms an integral part of the development agenda of every district, thereby making it very crucial to the country’s socio-economic advancement. The ceremony formed part of the Network’s outreach program known as Enhancing Quality Adolescent Reproductive Sexual Health Rights being implemented in the Upper West Region.
Miss Muhammed stated that there are a number of challenges associated with the development of effective sexual and reproductive health programs for young women and girls. She noted: “Adolescent girls live in some cultures that discourage or prohibit them from discussing reproductive health issues or sexual practices or from making decisions about their own sexual activities health.
Some Adolescent girls are hesitant to talk about sex or reproductive health issues with older people.” Miss Mohammed also encouraged the Assemblies to collaborate with the Ghana Education Service to provide pad banks for young girls in schools as well as an enabling space for safe menstrual hygiene practice. She stressed the need for the Assemblies to work closely with traditional authorities to do away with all forms of discrimination against young women and adolescent girls in our communities.
The Upper West Regional Chairperson of the Network for Women Empowerment, Ms. Ida Teryelkenye Nakaar talked about menstrual hygiene management education for young girls the Network has been carrying out. She announced that Wa Municipality had theirs in 2020 where “we reached out to ten communities in the Municipality on an intensive menstrual hygiene management program”.
This time around, we are in Wa East, Sissala East, Sissala West, even today we are in Wa West District, doing this same thing but we are having it with menstrual hygiene and education. So that is what we are doing as a Network in our bid to contribute to helping these young girls in terms of their health.”
The Queenmother of Busa, Pognaa Barata Zakaria who received a copy of the communique, promised that she and her fellow female colleagues will ensure that chiefs in the various communities come on board to support the initiative.
She urged the Network for Young Women Empowerment to continue to do its bit in reaching out to adolescents with sexual and reproductive health rights interventions.
Story filed by Emmanuel Mensah-Abludo