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13.05.2005 Regional News

Need to champion cause of adolescents

By GNA

Cape Coast May 13, GNA-The Central Regional Minister, Mr Isaac Edumadze, on Thursday called for closer collaboration between non-governmental organisations (NGOs), the private sector and educational institutions to champion the cause of adolescents in the society.

He noted that children faced a lot of problems when moving from puberty to adulthood and that it was imperative to ensure that they were provided with good education, health service and other facilities, to enable them grow into healthy and responsible adults. Mr Edumadze made the call at a forum on counselling under the theme: "changing adolescent sexual behaviour through assertive training", for first year students of the Wesley Girls High School, in Cape Coast.

The programme, which was organised by second year Guidance and Counselling students of the University of Education, Winneba, aimed at educating the girls about how to protect themselves from acquiring HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Mr Edumadze noted that although policies including the "adolescent representative health policy" have been formulated to promote good lifestyle for the youth, much still needed to be done, to prevent them from falling victim to social vices.

He consequently called for counselling and guidance programmes to be expanded and intensified to create the needed awareness on adolescent sexual behaviour among the youth.

Mr Edumadze advised the youth to desist from indecent dressing, drug abuse and pre-marital sex, and urged the students to act as ambassadors of positive behavioural change among their peers. He commended the students for organising the programme, which he said provided an opportunity for young people to learn about HIV/AIDS prevention.

Madam Mabel Davis, leader of the group, urged parents to ensure that their teenage children behaved well adding that most adolescents were sexually active, and had a higher risk of acquiring STIS and HIV/AIDS. She said most young people, especially girls were ignorant about their sexuality due the failure of parents to educate their children on the subject.

Mrs Florence Offei, a principal nursing officer, expressed regret that sexual promiscuity among the youth was rampant resulting in high cases of teenage pregnancies and abortions.

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