In line with the global agenda of Zonta International, the Zonta Club of Accra has tasked itself to undertake a two (2) year project that focuses on Adolescent Health and Empowerment. This task necessitated an engagement with the Abokobi Municipal Health and Education Directorates of the Ga East Municipality of the Greater Accra Region to foster a collaboration to pursue the vision of Adolescent Reproductive Health Education and Promotion. The problem was identified to be a high incidence of teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections attributable to poverty, ignorance, peer pressure, bad parental care and negative influences. These have been found to be the common health challenges of the municipality. Some of these teenagers with pregnancies are in school and may be as young as 10 years of age in some instances. Together with the UNFPA, Abokobi Health Directorate and the Ghana Education Service through the Schools Health Education Program (SHEP) Coordinators, the Zonta Club of Accra is organizing an Adolescent Peer to Peer Reproductive Health Training to educate adolescents in 10 selected schools. The Ghana Education Service and the Ghana Health Service have programs that are supposed to educate and empower the youth both in and out of school, but have lacked the necessary funding and personnel to make it possible. At the end of the training program, we hope to empower in-school adolescents, particularly girls through reproductive health education and promotion in schools to enable them to make quality decisions concerning their sexual and reproductive health choices and to remain focused on their education to attain their future goals and aspirations in life. The theme has been developed as "Protect your Dream - For your Future".
i. Phase One:
- Training, capacity building and empowerment of Peer Educators, training of teachers to support and supervise the clubs, as well as the sensitization and training of SHEP Coordinators to liaise with and coordinate the activities of the clubs. Under this phase, 50 Peer Educators and 20 Teachers from 10 selected schools in the Abokobi Sub-district, as well as 10 SHEP Coordinators will be trained and provided with the needed logistics to establish and run the Adolescent Reproductive Health Clubs and function as Peer Educators in their respective schools.
- Inauguration of Adolescent Reproductive Health Clubs in the selected schools and support and supervision of their functions.
ii. Phase Two:
- Under phase two of the project, Zonta Club of Accra will, in collaboration, with the Ghana Health Service and the Ghana Education Service, organize a health fair that will focus on providing basic health care for adolescents as well as health promotional materials and activities for both in-school and out-of-school youth in the communities of the municipality.
iii. Phase Three:
- The sustainability phase is essential to keep the project ongoing. This is the main reason why there was the need to train teachers and SHEP coordinators as part of the project. It is envisaged that as students pass and graduate out of the school and seek higher education, the new students who come in will be enrolled into the clubs and get the requisite training and capacity building by the teachers who were trained under phase one. This will be done with the support of the municipal health directorate and the SHEP Coordinators.
- It is envisaged that beyond the initial 10 schools, the municipal health and education directorates will collaborate to roll out this very important intervention project in other schools in the municipality.