Mborate Edith

Mborate, Baffour, Ntegee and Abban-team – Increasing Access to SRHR Services among young women.

Date grant awarded: March 2019

Adolescent and young people face a lot of problems as they transcend to adulthood. Most of these are related to their sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR). Some traditional values, culture and religious beliefs have over the years impeded the free flow of accurate information on SRHR in the Brong Ahafo Region of Ghana. We are expanding the scope of this initiative to 10 other communities where over 5,000 young people would be sensitised and given accurate information on SRHR issues such as dangers of unsafe abortion, access to modern contraception and improved access to affordable, quality and youth friendly reproductive health services in our communities and create a society where adolescents/ young women have full control over their bodies and fertility. Traditional, opinion and religious leaders trained and committed to become SRHR advocates, 20 volunteers recruited and trained and reproductive Health Clubs formed in 5 schools. The SRHR campaign is requested by some community leaders, school heads, and the Ghana Education Service to be extended to them but for financial constraints. The Impact Grant is therefore expected to help achieve this.

Providing accurate information on sexuality and rights, and improving on access to youth friendly reproductive health services, and reducing the barriers in our localities is my passion. The initiative aims to reduce socio-cultural barriers the hinder SRHR issues in the communities, refer young women and girls to access affordable and quality reproductive health services. Traditional, religious and opinion leaders would be trained to become SRHR advocates in their communities. A just society where the local people are recognized as the key actors in their own development rather than passive recipients of commodities and services, and the capacities of the disadvantaged and built their potentials and capabilities to take charge of their own sexual lives for a sustained development.

The initial grant has been vital to our work and helped us achieved the below results. The initiative dubbed “Increasing Access to Reproductive Health and Contraceptive Services among Girls and Young Women” has had 4000 adolescents and young women directly sensitised on dangers of unsafe abortion and unsafe sex, contraceptive usage, teenage pregnancy and improve access to adolescent friendly SRHR services. We used community and school forums and the services of health professionals from the Ghana Health Service to provide accurate information on SRHR to young people. 196 adolescents and young women have been referred to health facilities for services such as counseling, family planning/contraception, post unsafe abortion complication services. 13 volunteers have been trained to do peer -to-peer education in their communities and 5 health professionals volunteered on the project.

The Network is contributing to Ghana’s attainment of the SDGs Goal 3, where we advocate on diverse health issues especially reproductive health to promote good health and well-being for all with much focus on adolescents and young women. We are expanding the scope of this initiative to 10 other communities where over 5000 young people would be sensitised and given accurate information on SRHR issues such as dangers of unsafe abortion, access to modern contraception and improved access to affordable, quality and youth friendly reproductive health services in our communities and create a society where adolescents/young women have full control over their bodies and fertility. The main goal is to reduce traditional and cultural barriers that hinder SRHR in our local communities,improving access to affordable and quality reproductive health services among young people. We aim to reduce cultural barriers and creating public awareness on dangers of unsafe abortion, promoting the use of modern contraception and improve access to youth friendly reproductive health services among 5000 young people in 10 communities by December, 2019. Make information on SRHR more accessible to adolescents, empowering them to make informed decisions regarding their SRHR by December, 2019. Our activities include organizing monthly in- school and community forums, organizing four workshops on SRHR for traditional, opinion and religious leaders and make them commit to become SRHR advocates in their localities, and training 20 volunteers on peer to peer education.

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