Dr Daniel Osei, a Consultant at the Office of the Director-General of the Ghana Health Service, said Ghana needed a total of GHC 5.7 billion to implement its 2016 to 2020 Adolescent Health Service Policy and Strategy.
However, he explained that since the country was left with just two years, 2019 to 2020, to reach the set date, it needed only about GHC 3.6 billion for the implementation of the Policy and its Strategies.
Dr Osei, who was addressing the Inter-Agency Coordinating Committee on Contraceptive Security (ICC/CS), at a dissemination meeting on the Costed Adolescent Health Service Policy and Strategy in Accra on Thursday, said more of such funding would be channelled into sustained education and screening for communicable and non-communicable diseases among adolescents aged between 12 and 19 years.
He said quality and expanded services would also be offered to ensure safe delivery for pregnant adolescents, enhance their nutritional statuses, and ensuring comprehensive contraceptive security to help them make informed choices and decisions.
He said there were both long and short term benefits of the early education and screening of this key group, as it would save the country from the huge future cost implications from protracted diseases such as cancers, diabetes, hypertension, as well as malnutrition defects.
He stated that there would be short-term surveys to assess the impact of strategies targeted at addressing issues including good nutrition, comprehensive sexuality education, behaviour change, and spacing of births to ensure good health of adolescents.
It is envisaged that about 90 per cent of adolescents would be reached with improved health literacy to ensure good health and reduce the disease burden of the country by the year 2020.
Dr Osei explained that the amount needed although huge, could be mobilised through existing programmes and interventions of all stakeholders including government and non-governmental agencies.
He therefore urged all players to rise up and mobilise more resources, and bring to the fore their current activities and programmes, to enable them identify the remaining gaps in funding to be presented to the government for the needed funding.
Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, the Director for the Family Health Division of the Ghana Health Service, who chaired the meeting, stressed on the importance of spending more money now to address the health needs of adolescents, to secure the future savings of the government.
He said the coasting of the Adolescent Health Service Policy and Strategy was done in consultation with key stakeholders, and the purpose was to present it to the broader group to guide them in the costing of their respective programmes and activities.