Raphael Godlove Ahenu Jnr
A SEVEN-member District Technical Implementation Committee to roll out programmes to kick-start a vigorous campaign against unsafe abortion in basic and secondary schools in the Sunyani Municipality has been inaugurated.
The committee, chaired by a public health nurse at the Sunyani Municipal Health Directorate, Sara Adjapong, has its memberships selected from institutions such as Ghana Education Service (GES), Ghana Health Service (GHS), civil society organisations (CSO), Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG) and the Municipal Assembly.
So far, all seven project districts namely, Sunyani, Kintampo North, Techiman, Wenchi, Dormaa Central Municipalities and the Jaman South and Tano North districts have had their district technical implementation committees inaugurated.
Speaking at a stakeholders meeting in Sunyani prior to the inauguration of the committee, the Chief Executive Officer of Global Media Foundation (GLOMEF), a civil society organisation implementing the project, Raphael Godlove Ahenu Jnr, outlined a comprehensive programme intended to help achieve the project?s objectives.
The project, he explained, is a $127,749.31 donor fund which aims among others to increase access to safe abortion related services through information dissemination and strengthened referral linkages with government hospitals and other service providers for 500 young women in Brong-Ahafo by 2016.
According to Mr Ahenu, the campaign, dubbed ?Advocating for Young Women Access to Safe Abortion and Contraceptive Services in Ghana?, is a three-year project lasting between April 2014 and March 2017 to be implemented in 21 communities and 14 junior and senior high schools in seven municipal and districts in the Brong-Ahafo Region.
As part of the work plan unveiled by the GLOMEF boss, 75 key opinion leaders from the project districts would be identified and trained to become Safe Abortion Advocates in the region who would make quarterly public pronouncement on safe abortion.
He also explained that the NGO would hold annual engagement with 25 editors and media owners to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), committing them to publish positive stories on safe abortion.
He further stated that some 25 selected media practitioners would also be identified and trained on safe abortion reporting leading to the formation of a Brong-Ahafo Reproductive Health Reporters Network.
Mr Ahenu, who advised the youth to abstain from pre-marital sex, urged those who cannot abstain, to use contraceptives to avoid unwanted pregnancies.
He further advised against unsafe abortion in an attempt to get rid of unwanted pregnancies since unsafe abortion kills and could permanently damage the female reproductive organs.
FROM Fred Tettey Alarti-Amoako, Sunyani