Workshop for Teenage Pregnancy Prevention Campaign
The incidence of teenage pregnancy has been very high and is still increasing in Ghana. This challenge is partly attributed to inadequate information targeted at the right people in the right places.
The new YMCA project focuses on reducing the prevalence and incidence of teenage pregnancies through an education campaign targeting both boys and girls between the ages of 12 to 19 years in Greater Accra, Ashanti, Western and in the Volta Regions of Ghana.
Fortunately, Ghana YMCA has received some funding by the German Embassy in Accra to train peer educators to assist in reducing the prevalence of teenage pregnancies in the country.
That is the reason why on 14th to 15th September 12 peer educators were trained in a workshop at Ghana YMCA. The young participants came from the various regions of Ghana YMCA – Eastern, Western, Central, Ashanti and Volta Region – for the workshop at the conference hall of Ghana YMCA. Beside the conference hall on the ground, the YMCA runs a guest house conveniently, where the participants had been accommodated.
At the end of the training, the peer educators have been enabled with information, education and communication materials to implement campaigns in their particular regions, specifically in Kumasi, Ho, Takoradi, Jamestown and Chorkor.
The project has been set up on the idea of using youth friendly mediums that attracts both girls and boys like theatre plays and cultural troupes that should be involved in the project programmes at schools and centres where teenage boys and girls are found.
Therefore, the project seeks to create awareness of teenage pregnancy and its implication among 1000 youth from low income backgrounds, as well as to educate 1000 boys and girls on how to prevent teenage pregnancy by taking them through various modules.
The two-day programme has been facilitated by two former peer educators of a previous training done by YMCA as well, Susana Osafo Otiwaa and Joyce Koomson
The two experienced peer educators work as teachers currently and were eager to hand over their knowledge to the younger generation. The new peer educators were equipped with the required skills and knowledge to educate their peers on teenage pregnancy in their various regions.
With a manual given to them, every step in the process of how to educate and facilitate the topic for young people has been explained to all the trainees. In the manual some tools and methods were introduced to the trainees and they went through practical steps on the use of these tools.
The programme was supported by an input of a young female doctor and two midwifes of Marie Stopes International, an NGO that works on reproductive health in Ghana.
Dr Judith Owusu, a Medical Practitioner, who gave some input about menstruation and pregnancy, said that people have weird perception about the topic and needed to be educated to get rid of that mindset.
The two midwives, Eunice Kufoalor and Elorm Ahadome of Marie Stopes International showed the participants how to avoid pregnancy by demonstrating to them the different contraceptive methods available on the Ghanaian market. This intervention is related to the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 3) – Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages.
Students in seven schools have been sensitized and educated on the causes, effects and solution to teenage pregnancy in the time of the project. Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials on teenage pregnancy prevention were also distributed during the campaigns. 300 customized exercise books with teenage pregnancy prevention messages have been distributed to some student participants.
A total of 1,404 students have been reached and educated on how to avoid teenage pregnancy, 1043 girls and 361 boys are the beneficiaries of the outreach campaign of the YMCA. The school campaigns have been conducted with the trained facilitators by the campaign and with the Mighty-Y Drama Troupe