By Laudia Sawer
Tema, April 18, GNA - The Tema Health Directorate has launched its maiden book which captures adolescent friendly health service delivery in the Metropolis since 2007 with a call on stakeholders to support adolescent health programmes.
The book entitled, “A compendium on ten (10) years adolescent health services in Tema Metropolis,” was launched on the theme; “Keeping adolescents in school: continuously reducing adolescent pregnancy”.
The 44-page book is an overview of adolescent health in Tema, ten years of best practices in adolescent service provision in the area, and lessons and research gotten from the service.
The Tema Metropolitan Assembly (TMA) provided funding of GH¢24,200.00 for the printing of the first 1,000 copies of the book.
Dr John B.K. Yabani, Tema Metropolitan Health Director, said even though the Ghana Health Service (GHS) was the lead promoter of adolescent health, the responsibility of delivering it to the youth was a collaborative one among stakeholders including the Ghana Education Service, TMA, Department of Social Welfare and Community Development and the Domestic Violence Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service.
Dr Yabani added that “indeed, we at the Tema Metro Health Directorate are fully aware that having a physically and psychologically healthy adolescent is one of the necessary conditions for ensuring quality higher education” stating that in that regard, his outfit would continue to collaborate with all stakeholders to provide tailored quality adolescent health services in the Metropolis.
He noted that adolescent health services were provided in the school, health facility and community settings ranging from general health education, management of adolescent developmental problems, maternal health services, sexual and reproductive health education and counselling.
Other services available to adolescents in the Metropolis were nutrition services, mental health, health screening and testing, first aid services, non-communicable disease prevention and referral services.
He revealed that since 2007 when the adolescent health programme was started in Tema, pregnancy among adolescents aged 10 to 19 years, had steadily reduced from 1,196 in 2008 to 628 in 2017 and 611 in 2018.
“This steady reduction in the number of adolescent pregnancy in the Metropolis we believe is reflective in the number of adolescent girls who are increasingly and continuously staying in school,” he stated.
He appealed to organizations, individuals and non-governmental organizations to help provide laptops, television sets, and libraries at the various centres and school clubs as well as for capacity building, sensitization programmes, outreaches and establishment of more corners in the communities.
Mrs Margaret Frempong-Kore, Tema Metropolitan Education Director, on her part, urged parents and the public to encourage girls who dropped out of school due to pregnancy to return to school, announcing that the Ghana Education Service had formulated a girl-child policy which allowed such girls to return to school after giving birth.
Mr Felix Mensah Nii Anang-La, Tema Metropolitan Chief Executive, launching the book, commended the Health Directorate and service providers for impacting on the lives of the youth in the area.
Mr Anang-La indicated that adolescents in the area faced a lot of challenges due to the industrial and harbour status of the Metropolis therefore the need to intensify adolescent health education.
Nii Adjei Kraku II, Paramount Chief of Tema, chairing the launching, urged all and sundry to promote adolescent health as he pledged that the Tema Traditional Council and traditional leaders would continue to collaborate with the GHS to achieve the goal of health adolescents in Tema.