The Pathfinder International (PI) Ghana, in collaboration with the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA), has organised a forum in Ho, in the Volta Region, for selected journalists, nurses and peer educators on Adolescent Reproductive Health (ARH).
The participants included 15 journalists, selected from both the print and electronic media houses.
At the end of the programme, a resolution was adapted to intensify the campaign to enhance youth development.
Early on, 60 other nurses and 60 youth were also trained in ARH issues and equipped with the necessary information, skills and support. The training was aimed at making them become trainer of trainers in order to help disseminate the message across their communities.
The nurses or service providers trained comprised midwives, medical assistants and community health nurses, while the youth were students trained as peer educators and condom distributors.
While the main role of the service providers would hinge on integrating into the state facilities, the non-traditional condom distributors would focus on pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, STIs, prevention.
Opening the forum, the National Co-ordinator of Pathfinder International, Ghana, Mrs Dorothy Maame Donkor, urged women to avail themselves of the available opportunities to enlighten themselves about ARH issues.
She said the trained service providers and the peer educators would undertake outreach programmes in schools, churches, workplaces and other social gatherings to educate young people in the communities on ARH issues, providing the necessary counselling or referrals when needed.
According to the co-ordinator, to facilitate their work and movement, each of the peer educators had been provided with a bicycle, raincoat, pair of boots and a bag with adequate reference materials on the subject to enhance their duties.
Mrs Donkor explained that Pathfinder International, an international non-profit organisation, was committed to improving the lives of women and families by building local capacity to provide and sustain high quality family planning and reproductive health services.
She said in Ghana, PI began work in April 2001 with the launch of the African Youth Alliance (AYA) project, adding that they had, in collaboration with the UNFPA, established four youth counselling centres in the Ho Municipality, Akatsi, Ketu-South and South Tongu districts in the Volta Region.
“Since 2006, PI Ghana, under its Youth-Friendly Services (YFS) project, has trained over 80 nurses and 148 youth in four districts of the Volta Region to sensitise the people, especially women, to support and protect their reproductive and general health,” she noted.
Mrs Donkor added that this was part of the PI’s effort at improving the overall adolescent sexual and reproductive health and reducing the spread of the HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections in the country.