The World Health Organisation (WHO) has organised a day's workshop with Y-Check to disseminate research findings to key stakeholders in health and education sectors in the Cape Coast Metropolitan Area.
The workshop was held at the Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Catholic Church, University of Cape Coast on Wednesday, 22nd June, 2022.
Dr. Franklin Glozah, a Co-Investigator of Y-Check Ghana and also a Senior Lecturer with the School of Public Health, University of Ghana shared that, the project was aimed at reaching out to adolescents to understand their health issues with the importance to have a routine health check-up in order to guarantee early detection and finding possible remedial measures that can be employed to help them.
He added that Y-Check aims to develop and implement a potentially sustainable adolescent health check-up programme in three African Countries (Cape Coast - Ghana, Mwanza - Tanzania, Chitungwiza - Zimbabwe). It seeks to strengthen the existing Ghana Health Services (GHS), Ghana Education Service (GES) health screening that was introduced in Senior High Schools in 2017.
A Senior Lecturer of Medical Sociology and Public Health of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Cape Coast and Co-Investigator, Dr. Eric Koka presenting some aspects of the Y-Check key findings, gave an overview of Phase 1 of the project.
He underscored that three main things were done in phase one: Identifying key contextual information on adolescents' health, Identifying specific feasible and acceptable components of the health check-ups intervention and Developing the Y-Check health check-ups intervention framework.
Four communities were used for the study; Abura, Afutu, Akon and Kwaprow all within the Cape Coast Metropolis. The whole programme focuses on younger adolescents between the ages of 10 to 14 years old and older adolescents between 15 to 19 years of age.
During the questions and answers segment of the workshop, Dr. Eric Arthur, Medical Superintendent of Ewim Polyclinic lauded the Y-Check health check-ups intervention for adolescents but drew the researchers’ attention to implementation challenges that may arise due to financial constraints.
The Medical Superintendent was of the view that, if a funding source could be secured for the adolescents' health check-ups, that would smoothen its implementation. He revealed that, there are wellness Centres within some health facilities that anyone could visit for health advice and feels is one area that the adolescents can take advantage of.
In her remarks, Mrs. Grace Amewu, Adolescent Health Focal Person at Ghana Health Service, Accra, said the Y-Check project is a great initiative that would help to strengthen the existing health screening in Senior High Schools as well as the introduction of health screening in communities for adolescents who are out of school. She intimated that the Family Health Division of the Ghana Health Service looks forward to collaborating with the Y-Check project team in phase two.
The Y-Check project is sponsored by the World Health Organisation led in Ghana by Dr. Benedict Weobong. The dissemination workshop brought together representatives from the Ghana Health Services, Ghana Education Service, students from the communities that participated in the study as well as assembly members.
In his closing remarks, Dr. Franklin Glozah indicated that phase two of the Y-Check project has already started adding that the project team will start holding workshops with all the stakeholders gathered to fine-tune the Y-Check intervention and address contextual issues, in anticipation of a pilot rollout in January 2023.