Axim Community leaders worried over introduction of contraception among adolescent girls

A section of Community leaders within the Nzema East Municipality have expressed concern about putting adolescent girls on various methods of contraception as it emboldened them to engage in sex without fear of pregnancy and other dangers.

The leaders argued that the use of contraceptives by the girls had resulted in promiscuous lifestyle among most of them who now had the conviction that they would not get pregnant anytime soon.

“Such contraceptives only delayed pregnancy for the stipulated number of years or months the individual is using them, but do not prevent sexually transmitted diseases, which most girls presume it does,” Nana Adjoa Wirom, Queen Mother of Apiawosika, a community in the Municipality said.

She blamed most parents for allowing their children to be patronised by men and boys without recourse to their sexual and reproductive health needs, resulting in unwanted pregnancies, truancy and ultimately increased drop outs rate of girls in the area.

She was contributing during an open forum of a session organised by the Alliance for Reproductive Health Rights in collaboration with the Rights and Responsibilities Initiative Ghana to discuss the outcome of a research conducted by the two Non-Governmental organisations.

The Research centred on: “Assessing the Readiness of Health Care Facilities to Provide Adolescents Health Service and Clients Experiences”.

It was conducted in the Axim government hospital, Dadwen Health Centre and Awuku CHPS compound.

Nana Wirom therefore called for a stiffer punishment for men and boys who abused reproductive rights of the girls to serve as a deterrent to end the practice.

She narrated an incident, where a 14-year old girl was impregnated by a 45-year-old man in her community, describing it as disgusting.

Madam Rhema Andah from Alliance for Reproductive Health Rights, explained that the NGO developed a scorecard which measured the level of transparency, accountability and participation and informed decision-making in the health facilities, especially in meeting the health needs of adolescent girls.

It was also to allow stakeholders to identify service utilisation challenges and ways to improve upon service delivery that promoted quality healthcare.

On providers, she said, the scorecard looked at staffing, facility, accessibility, affordability, quality and legal referral services, while on the adolescents, it focused on access, affordability and quality of service.

In all the three facilities, it came out that there was no substantive midwife, no separate counselling room for adolescents, no stipulated standard for transfers or referrals, no comprehensive abortion care and no equipment for adolescents’ healthcare, particularly at Awuku CHPS compound.

The finding would enable the NGO better advocate together with other stakeholders in the communities for such needs to be met so as to improve on healthcare delivery, particularly for adolescent girls.

Source: GNA

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