Gambia: MoBSE Stakeholders Discuss ASRH Issues

Considering many obstacle affecting the implementation of Comprehensive Health Education (CHE) in The Gambia, the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education (MoBSE) in partnership with officials at Banjul City Council (BCC) recently converged at the McCarthy Square to discuss issues relating to Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health (ASRH).

The project is titled: Strengthening Access to Quality Comprehensive Health Education in The Gambia.

The project is an implementation research done by Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education with funding from International Development Research Center (IDRC), Canada.

The conducted research revealed key findings and challenges in implementing a Comprehensive Health Education for Adolescents in and out-of-school as reported by officials of NGOs, CSO, and school authorities.

Among identified challenges were lack of coordination across various implementing agencies of sexual and reproductive health programmes, funding gaps for sexual and reproductive health programmes, policy restrictions and societal norms that perceived discussions on sexual and reproductive health issues as highly culturally sensitive were all reported as major obstacles to implementing programmes on sexual and reproductive health education for out of schools adolescents.

Fatou Dally Bittaye, who represented director of Curriculum at MoBSE Momodou Jeng stated that; "when research is done with its finding, let's not leave the findings to lie down to gather dust".

Mrs. Phebian Ina Grant-Sagnia, principal investigator, Strengthening Access to Quality Comprehensive Health Education project for in-and-out of School Adolescents in Region I, The Gambia, gave a detail background of the project.

She added that the study, she explained, was in four different phases.

The interactive forum was attended by the deputy mayor of Banjul City Council, religious leaders, councillors, youth and representatives from CSOs and among others.

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