Kodjo Adams, GNA
Accra, June 14, GNA - The Centre for Community Studies Action and Development (CENCOSAD), an NGO, has organized a training programme to educate adolescent girls and Persons with Disabilities on Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR).
The programme, in collaboration with the Alliance and Reproductive Health Rights funded by UNFPA, was to ensure the protection of the rights of PWDs, and work towards building a holistic and inclusive society.
The participants were educated on family planning and contraceptives, HIV/AIDS, sex and sexual violence, among others.
Madam Noelle Appiah, the Programmes Manager of International Federation of Women Lawyers said PWDs represented a significant portion of the country and the world’s population and deserve every right as citizens without discrimination.
She said attention to the sexual and reproductive health needs for PWDs was necessary to ensure that they were well-informed about their sexual rights to take right decision.
Madam Appiah said people have the perception that PWDs did not have sexual feelings and were neglected in giving them information on sexual and health issues.
She said like every human being, PWDs equally had sexual feelings and deserve the rights to be educated on sexual and reproductive health issues to take good care of their wellbeing.
According to her, there was evidence that suggested that, a degree of prejudice and misconceptions existed towards pregnant women living with disabilities, adding that the training would demystify that negative notion and accept the reality they can get pregnant.
She called for continuous education on SRHR to create the needed awareness to curb disability stereotypes in society since most of the PWDs lacked knowledge about their sexual and reproductive health situation.
She urged health institutions and other NGOs to promote interventions at local and national levels to develop information materials accessible to PWDs.
Mr Anthony Adarkwah, the Greater Accra President of Ghana Federation of Disability Organization, encouraged groups associated with disabilities to avail themselves in national dialogue especially on SRHR.
He appealed to government to ‘walk the talk’ by creating the enabling infrastructure facilities accessible to PWDs.
Mr Adarkwah explained that lack of these facilities had worsened discrimination against them in public spaces, hospital, police stations and other social gatherings in accessing services.
Mr Michael Aggrey, the Programmes Manger, CENCOSAD said the programme was to empower adolescent girls through improved access to comprehensive sexuality education and quality responsive sexual and reproductive health services.
The programme was targeted at out-of-school female adolescent between ages 10-19 years and marginalized girls with disabilities in Kinka, Ngleshie and Korle Worko in the Accra Metropolis.
He said the expectation was to ensure that more health professionals have the capacity to provide quality youth-friendly and gender-sensitive sexual and reproductive health services to adolescent girls.