Addressing reproductive, sexual health needs of adolescent girls: RHESY makes impact
Dromo, a beautiful adolescent girl with disability, is a very vocal person who resides at Asere, a community at James Town in Accra, home town to many Gas.
Like any other young ambitious girl, 18-year-old Dromo has just completed junior high school and aspires to become a medical doctor, not allowing her disability to be a barrier in achieving that goal.
Dromo has lived in Asere all her life and made friends with her age mates; both males and females, and she is noted for encouraging her friends to take their education seriously. This she does with the inscription: “Education is the Key to Success,” boldly written at the back of her mobility aid; the wheelchair, which she rides through the community, each day.
And at that very moment I realised I had lost my virginity, not only that, but my pride and dignity as a woman. It had been over three years but the painful memory is still fresh and torments me”.
The RHESY, which is being implemented by the Alliance for Reproductive Health Rights (ARHR) in selected districts of five regions, is gradually addressing the concerns of girls like Dromo, between ages 10 and 19, by providing them with enough information on the prevention of sexual and gender based violence and the easy ways to access reproductive health services in their communities.
“In addition to the education, we have linked them to facilities and institutions that provide legal services and have also engaged their parents to teach them ways to assist their girls with disability with the help they require”.
Adolescent Reproductive Health Champions say many young people face barriers to reproductive health information and care and even those able to find accurate information may be unable to access the services needed to protect their health due to financial constraints.