By Laudia Sawer, GNA
Tema, Feb 21, GNA - Some adolescents in Tema Manhean in the Greater Accra Region have appealed to parents not to shy away from discussing sexuality issues with their children.
According to them, the inability and unwillingness of parents to discuss sexual reproductive health matters with them, pushes adolescents to explore and experiment as a means of finding answers to their questions.
They made the appeal in an interview with the Ghana News Agency at the Adolescent Health Corner located at the Tema Manhean Health Centre.
“Please tell our parents to open up to us on sex, instead of pushing us away and shouting on us anytime such issues comes up”, they stated.
According to them, instead of parents listening to their concerns and educating them, they rather label them as spoilt children which they described as not the best.
Some of the girls also lamented how male teachers in their school were molesting them sexually and victimizing them when they refused their advances.
“Some of our male teachers instead of teaching us, are spoiling the children and proposing to the girls, when we don’t agree, they ask us to leave their class and beat us for no reason”, they indicated.
They however said they had found solace at the adolescent corner as the service providers educate them on abstinence, living a good healthy life, reproductive health, breast examination, vagina discharge, condom use, personal hygiene, among others.
They added that the providers were very close and cordial with them, as well as gave them the opportunity to talk about the issues that their parents shy away from.
Miss Diana Teimley Ofori, Adolescent Service Provider in charge of the Manhean Adolescent Corner., said the corner provided services to the teenagers from 0700 hours to 1600 hours.
Miss Ofori indicated that most of the adolescents visited the corner during their snack and lunch breaks at school and when teachers were not available to teach them at a particular time.
She however said the adolescent girls frequented the corner than the boys, and therefore urged them not to hesitate to visit her outfit to be educated on their reproductive health.
She appealed to opinion leaders and traditional leaders in the area to provide the corner with some space in their communities were service providers would visit and educate the youth as some felt reluctant to visit the centre especially those leaving far from the health centre.
Mrs Grace Eddy Amewu, Adolescent Focal Person for the Tema Metropolitan Health Directorate, on her part, appealed to religious institutions to invite the service providers to their meetings such as women and men’s fellowship and youth groupings to educate parents and adolescents on how to interact with their children on sexual issues and abstain from premarital sex respectively.
Mrs Amewu also pleaded with corporate bodies, individuals, non-governmental organizations and other stakeholders to help the Health Directorate to establish more adolescent corners and clubs in the Metropolis as statistics on teenagers engaging in sexual activities were disturbing.