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19.03.2004 Regional News

Oguaa assembly urged to enact byelaw to stem indecent dressing

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Cape Coast, March 19, GNA- Participants at a just-ended workshop on the 'Advocacy Policy on Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health' at Cape Coast have called on the municipal assembly to enact a byelaw that would stem indecent dressing among the youth.

They contended that such a law, should also be aimed at checking immoral activities associated with the celebration of Valentine's day, and urged the Ghana Education Service to help strengthen the formations of 'virgins' clubs in schools.

The workshop which is under the African Youth Alliance (AYA) project was organised by the National Population Council(NPC) and aimed at finding solutions to problems facing adolescents in the municipality. They included teenage pregnancy, promiscuous behaviour, indecent dressing, and poverty.

The participants comprised health personnel, representatives of religious bodies and traditional authorities. The made the call in a communiqu=E9, and expressed concern about the lack of job opportunities for the youth.

They, in this regard, called on the government to create jobs that are in line with the opportunities in the municipality such fishing, for those along the coast and vegetable and citrus farming for resident inland.

The communiqu=E9, also suggested to the municipal assembly to encourage tertiary institutions to introduce courses on fish science, marine engineering, as well as encourage fishing as a subject on the curricula of basic and second cycle schools.

Earlier in his closing remarks, the Regional Population Officer, Mr Paul Gyan said in spite of the numerous educational campaigns against AIDS, the municipality still records high cases of the disease, with 184 cases being recorded last year, and 121 in 2002.

He therefore stressed the need for a concerted effort in combating the spread of the disease.

On the effective development of adolescents, he observed that the stage of adolescence was "challenging and difficult", and called for the necessary support to enable adolescents to go through it without jeopardizing their lives, by being provided with the required information and other support services.

The Regional Population Officer told the participants that beneficiary assemblies should have been able to "leave concrete lands marks" in the form of requisite structures, that would help such youth to overcome their challenges, by the time the project comes to an end in 2005.

Mr Solomon Asiedu, Municipal Coordinating Director pledged the assembly's commitment to reducing the spread of HIV/AIDS in the municipality and promised that the necessary funds would be made available to address the situation. 19 March 04

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