UNFPA Programme makes progress in Volta
The Volta Regional Minister, Dr. Archibald Letsa, has observed that programmes supported by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in the Volta Region over the years have helped in addressing development-related issues, including child marriage, teenage pregnancy and adolescent reproductive health, which compromises the growth of girls and leads to domestic violence and poverty.
Dr. Letsa noted that the UNFPA-supported education on teenage pregnancy, early marriage and adolescent health education had helped the region to see a reduction in teenage pregnancy and improved lifestyles among young women.
He, therefore, called on relevant stakeholders in the region to continue working hard to intensify education on the growth and healthy lives of the youth, particularly, girls.
Speaking at the end of year review meeting of the Volta Regional Coordinating Council (VRCC) UNFPA programme at Klefe in the Ho Municipality, the Regional Minister commended the Regional Coordinator of the programme for chalking much success, and stressed the need to guard the achievements, as well as to draw up more educational programmes that would further help in addressing the challenges faced by teenagers.
The Volta Regional Minister pointed out that the adolescent health-related issues being tackled by the UNFPA programme were major development challenges the youth faced.
He further called for conscious efforts to address such problems to ensure the youth, with emphasis on girls, grow up in a manner that would make them responsible adults in future.
The Volta Region UNFPA Coordinator at the VRCC, Ms Victoria Fato, commended the various stakeholders for the effective use of resources made available to them, stressing that it was only when results were achieved that funding organisations like the UNFPA would also be motivated to increase resources that would ensure regular educational activities.
Ms Fato said a lot of stakeholder meetings were held on the need to educate the youth, both boys and girls, on sexual and reproductive health in six districts in the Volta Region, and 76 health workers were equally trained to enable them appreciate the importance of adolescent health education.
She also disclosed that 100 youth in the Volta and Oti regions were trained on sexual reproductive health, while the National Youth Authority (NYA) also equipped a number of youths to acquire employable skills such as beads making, and hair-dressing among others.
The Akatsi North District Chief Executive, Dr. Prince Amuzu Sodoke, whose district has been identified as an area where teenage pregnancy was high in the region, explained that when the district was identified as having such a problem in 2014, 2015 and 2016, the assembly received support from non-governmental organisations and education was intensified, which yielded positive results, but currently the situation in the district indicated that young women were getting pregnant in their late teens.
Some of the teenagers who benefitted from UNFPA support training organised by the NYA, Miss Irene Balley from South Dayi, Miss Bella Adzanado from Central Tongu, and Miss Lydia Tovor from Akatsi North, all confirmed the usefulness of the UNFPA training programme which had which provided them with employment resulting in their longer depending on their parents.
The Volta Regional Director of the National Youth Authority, Mr. Yao Semordey, disclosed that okada riders (commercial motorbike operators) were mostly guilty of impregnating teenagers, so his outfit had already met with their leadership and would be organising an educational programme for them to understand the effect of their actions.