A green paper on the state of adolescent health policy in Ghana called for the urgent need to address the health, social and economic challenges facing adolescents in the towns of Tamale and Ashaiman.
He also advocated the need to formulate adolescent-led policies that create a safe and supportive environment for adolescents to access appropriate information and materials, through counseling, in their development and well-being.
The document, developed by the Regional Institute for Demographic Studies (RIPS) at the University of Ghana, was launched in Tamale as part of the activities to celebrate this year’s International Youth Day (IYD).
It was developed as part of the Healthy Cities for Adolescents (HCA) project, which is implemented in the cities of Tamale and Ashaiman by the RIPS in partnership with the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly with funding from the Botnar Foundation of Switzerland .
The HCA, among others, seeks to create a multi-stakeholder consortium capable of using evidence-based information for strategic programming that promotes adolescent health and general well-being towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
The International Year of Youth is celebrated on August 12 each year to draw the attention of the international community to youth issues and to celebrate the potential of young people as active partners in global society.
The document states that “Many policies, strategies and legislative instruments have been enacted in Ghana, aimed at impacting adolescents and young people and in various dimensions, Child and Welfare Policy, National Policy for Ghana, Ghana’s National Social Protection Policy, among others. “
He said that “almost all existing policies have limits regarding the general well-being and health of the adolescent, as the main focus has been on their sexual and reproductive rights.”
He said that “research undertaken by RIPS with its partners highlights how existing policy frameworks are not meeting the emerging needs of adolescents and young people in Ghana, and the call for more responsive approaches with a holistic adolescent health policy ”.
The document called on stakeholders to ensure that policy formulation takes into account adolescent heterogeneity in order to embrace all facets of adolescent development and demographics.
RIPS Acting Director Prof Ayaga Bawa, who spoke at the launch of the document to commemorate this year’s International Youth Day in Tamale, called for giving young people the opportunity to lead the charge to meet the challenges. challenges they face.
Professor Bawa said: “In addition, there are several challenges at the city level, which threaten the way of life and the future of our younger population, and one of the ways to address these challenges is to empower young people. themselves the opportunity to lead the charge “.
She said: “Subsequently, we have chosen as part of the IYD celebration to launch a discussion paper or green paper on the state of adolescent health policy in Ghana to strengthen the arguments in favor of the relevance of involving young people in policies that affect them. . “
Miss Najat Jibreel, a student, said on behalf of all teens: “Elders should help by listening to our ideas, because sometimes our ideas just need a little attention and they will become a great contribution to development. There is no better attempt than to have a policy to give direction and guidance to young people and stakeholders so that we have a clear outline and definition for adolescents and their needs separate from those of children or young people.
Mr. Gilbert Nuuri-Teg, director of the metropolitan coordination of Tamale called on young people to make their voices heard, especially when they have attended public events to help design policies that address their concerns.
He further called on them to support efforts to protect the environment for the benefit of all.