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11.11.2004 Regional News

Programme to empower the youth on contraceptive usage launched

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Asiakwa (E/R), Nov. 11, GNA - The Amansan Aid Ghana (AAG), a non- governmental organization and the Village Fund of the Population Institute of the US have jointly launched a 6,000-dollar (about 48 million cedis) project to promote the use of contraceptives in eight communities in the East Akim District of the Eastern Region.

During the one-year project, it was expected that, 25,386 condoms and 20,259 foaming tablets would be distributed to the youth at Kukurantumi, Apedwa, Amanfrom, Kibi, Asiakwa, Bunso, Old and New Tafo. The Director of AAG, Mr Asamoah Owusu-Akyaw, who launched the project at Asiakwa on Thursday, said the project would focus on group discussions, dialogue, sensitisation seminars and games in the implementation of the service, using the Planned Parenthood of Ghana's (PPAG) approach.

According to him, it was expected that at the end of the project, the number of sexually active youth, who would be adopters of the contraceptives, would have been increased.

Mr Owusu-Akyaw, who said the project was not out to encourage promiscuity among the youth, however, noted with concern that, the low contraceptive use in the area had resulted in high birth rates, high prevalence of sexually- transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV/AIDS, teenage pregnancy and high girls' school dropout rates. According to him, a 50-million-cedi banking facility to support 50 youths in the district to go into income-generating ventures was being sourced.

Mr Owusu-Akyaw appealed to the people to fulfill their pledge to support the project by co-operating with the volunteers and point out any tendencies, which might affect the impact of the project's objectives.

The Eastern Regional Population Officer, Mr Kofi Abinah stated that the 2003 Ghana Demographic Health Survey (GDHS) indicated that, knowledge of family planning was almost universal with about 98 per cent in women and 99 per cent of men aged between 15-59.

However, use of contraceptive among married women increased 13 per cent in 1988 to 25 per cent in 2003, he said.

Mr Abinah said, since the gap between knowledge and application of contraceptive was found to be too wide, reproductive rights and health delivery should not be denied to the youth, who were sexually active. He, therefore, called for a youth-friendly contraceptive delivery system to attract the youth and urged all stakeholders to support the effort by the AAG in prosecuting its laudable effort at empowering the youth in contraceptive usage.

Mr Abinah urged the AAG to link up with the implementing partners of the African Youth Alliance project currently going on in the district, to help safeguard and promote the reproductive and human rights of the adolescents.

The chief of Asiakwa, Osabarima Agyemang, who chaired the function, assured the AAG of the co-operation of the people to ensure the achievement of its objectives.

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