Ghana: 'MOH Committed to Improving Adolescent Well-Being'

The Ministry of Health (MoH) says it is commitment to harness resources and expertise to improve adolescents health and wellbeing, a Programme Officer, Abena Kumiwaa Osae has stated.

According to her, adolescent was a critical period of development, and the experiences that adolescents had during this time could have a profound impact on their health and well-being throughout their lives.

Mrs Osae made the statement at a National Advocacy Forum for Adolescent health in Accra over the weekend.

Organised by Plan International, Ghana under its initiative 1.8 billion Young People for Change in partnership with World Health Organization (WHO), was on the theme; "What Young People Want".

She added that, the government was committed to improving the wellbeing of adolescents by participating in global interventions to promote adolescent well-being focusing on sexual and reproductive health, mental health, violence prevention, education, employment and support for vulnerable adolescents.

The Country Director of Plan International Ghana, Mr Constant Tchona, said the organization recognized the pivotal role adolescents and young people played in shaping the present and the future of the nation, however, their voices remained "unheard, their needs unmet and their potential untapped."

Therefore, he said the forum was held not only to listen but to truly hear, and understand what young people want for their "well-being, their future, and their country."

"Adolescence is a critical stage of a child in life, a sensitive period of development of a boy and a girl, and the experiences that young people have during this time can profoundly impact their health and well-being and change the course of their lives.

This is why adolescent health and well-being lie at the heart of Plan International Ghana's mission. We firmly believe that every young person deserves the opportunity to lead a healthy and fulfilling life, free from discrimination and barriers," he stated.

Mr Tchona noted that, Plan International strive to address the needs of adolescents, encompassing physical health, mental well-being, education, and socio-economic empowerment, through comprehensive sexuality education to youth-friendly health services.

The Country Director said they recognized the importance of holding governments accountable for their commitments to young people, adding that Plan International aim to advocate for policies and programs that prioritize adolescent health, and address systemic barriers to their well-being with the help of stakeholders.

"Today's forum is more than just a gathering; it is a call to action. It is a call for meaningful engagement, commitment mobilization, and accountability. It is an opportunity for decision-makers to listen, learn, and act upon the priorities identified by our adolescent population.

As we embark on this journey together, let us remember that the future of our nation lies in the hands of our youth. Let us commit ourselves to creating an enabling environment where every adolescent can thrive, where their rights are upheld, and their voices are valued," he stated.

A Technical Officer at WHO, Mr Nartey Edmond Banafo, on his part said WHO steadfast support to MoH had led to the piloting and scaling of a digital web-based platform for monitoring the quality of adolescent and youth-friendly health services in 43 senior high schools.

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