Reproductive health care for adolescents

Summary

Integrating Adolescent Reproductive Health into PHC programs

The Adolescent Reproductive Health Component of this project seeks to make adolescent reproductive health activities an integral part of the existing primary health care programme of ACDEP-member PHC program. Project activities includes training health workers, Club Coordinators, Peer educators, Adolescents, Establishing Adolescent corners as well as developing IEC materials through ICT.

Goals

  • Health
  • Integrated adolescents program in 9 health facilities
  • 5,000 adolescents (In-school and Out-of School)
  • 5 health facilities equipped with ICT equipment and skills
  • Capacity of 11 health facilities and ACDEP strengthened
  • 9 Adolescent friendly health faciliites
  • Education
  • ICT

Background

Ghana is a country in west Africa. The government’s health policies have special attention to Adolescent reproductive health and the minimum age for marriage has been raised to 18. Maternal mortality has been reduced by 44 percent since 1990, but remains high (350 per 100,000 live births).

Since 1977, ACDEP has been working in the development field in northern Ghana. Over forty (40) organizations form the network and they work in agriculture, health and economic activities with special focus on addressing gender inequalities. Cordaid, in cooperation with ICCO, has been funding ACDEP since 1996. The health programme of ACDEP was evaluated and it prooved to be effective. This project extends the earlier support of Cordaid to the health programme. The focus is on reproductive health and rights targeted at adolescents.

Initial situation

This project is currently in the third and final year implemented. A proposal is being developed for upscaling from 5 health facilities to 10 for 2012 to 2015.
In 2010, 25 managers, 6 trainers and 51 health staff ware trained in adolescent reproductive health. 46 in-school and 26 out-of-school adolescent clubs were formed and 152 peer educators were trained. Sensitization of these clubs is going on. 371 Traditional Medicine Practioners were identified and linked to health facilities, 347 are trained and collaborating with the facilities.

Goals

Long term objectives:
*To improve the health status of the rural population of targeted communities in northern Ghana.

Medium term objectives:
*To develop and implement adolescent reproductive health programme as an integral part of 9 ACDEP-member PHC activities.

The Adolescent Reproductive Health project seeks to contribute directly to the promotion of:
*Healthy adolescent growth and development
*Improved knowledge of Adolescent on SRH
*Making health facilities adolescent friendly

Goals

  • Health
  • Integrated adolescents program in 9 health facilities
  • 5,000 adolescents (In-school and Out-of School)
  • 5 health facilities equipped with ICT equipment and skills
  • Capacity of 11 health facilities and ACDEP strengthened
  • 9 Adolescent friendly health faciliites
  • Education
  • ICT

Project plan

– The adolescents are mostly grouped into clubs. These clubs can be found in schools and out of schools ie churches, mosques and communities. The project works with communities as well as parents and guardians of club members to gain their acceptability and support and to open communication between adolescents and parents or guardians on their reproductive health problems.

– Experiences, lessons learned and best practices on reproductive health are disseminated among all partners of ACDEP via workshops, publications, audio-visual materials and website. ACDEP links up with other organizations for information exchange and coorperation.

– The ICT componet of ACDEP Health programme Phase II is closely linked to the adolescent reproductive health component. The ICT Centres at the health facilities are also designated as adolescent friendly corners. Besides the ICT tools at the centres which the adolescents use to acquire basic skills on ICT, there are also other educational materials on adolescent sexual and reproductive and life planning skills which the adolescents find very useful. Adolescents are also able to access reproductive health services at the health facilities.

– Again by situating the ICT centres at the health facilities and designating them as adolescent friendly corners, the stigma associated with adolecents who visit health facilities without being ‘sick’ as used to be the case has been eliminated completely.

Sustainability

The main objective of ACDEP’s Adolescent Reproductive Health project is to facilitate the development and implementation of adolescent reproductive health activities into the existing primary health care programme of nine (9) ACDEP-member facilities.

The main strategy employed during the implementation of the project is the integration of adolescent sexual and reproductive health activities into the existing primary health programme. To achieve this capacity building of the main actors have been done over the years therefore all PHCs involved in implementation have been sufficiently trained and linked up to a team of resource persons.

ACDEP-member PHCs and Community members have been involved in the development, planning moitoring and evaluation processes right from the on-set of the project. This has the potential of increasing ownership of the project and deepening awareness among community health workers and community members about the need to deepen efforts to promote adolescent sexual and reproductive health for improved health care in rural communities.

Currently, some PHCs have been able to secure funding from other sources to continue with with most aspects of the programme.

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