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19.08.2005 Health

AYA launches adolescent sexual reproductive health project in Atwima


Nkawie (Ash), Aug 19, GNA - The Atwima District In-School African Youth Alliance (AYA) Project has launched an intensive awareness programme to reduce the incidence and spread of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections in Nwabiagya and Mponua districts.

Mrs Diana Amissah, the District AYA Project Co-ordinator, who launched the programme at Nkawie on Thursday, said the programme would improve the adolescent reproductive health and delay the sexual debut among sexually active youth.

She said harmful traditional practices like Female Genital Mutilation (GFM), widowhood rites and other vices like rape, defilement, drug and child abuses would also be drastically reduced if not eliminated completely.

Mrs Amissah explained that AYA aims at helping the adolescents to develop their attitudes, skills and knowledge to avoid risky behaviours and practice healthy ones.

It will also address the various environmental factors that prevent young people from achieving healthy lives as well as issues of gender and sexuality to promote girls empowerment and improve gender equity. Mrs. Amissah said the project has identified teachers, parents, health service providers, religious leaders and adult family members as recognised partners who will assist to make a big positive impact in the young peoples' lives.

To realise this objective, she said, 18 teachers selected from the AYA intervention schools and 180 adults from the communities have been trained and equipped with special skills to enable them adequately train the youth to plan their future lives well.

Mrs Amissah noted that several other parents and adults would be trained to assist the teachers to effect behavioural changes in the young ones so that acceptable and responsible future adults can be produced in the society.