Effects of reproductive health programmes on the youth in the Sekyere East District

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International fora have recognised young People’s sexual reproductive rights. The International Conference on Population Development (ICPD I 994, Cairo), the ICPD+5 Conference in 1999 and the 4th World Conference on Women in Beijing, 1995 all recognized the need to protect young people’s reproductive rights. The National Population Council (NPC), came out with a policy on adolescent reproductive health in 1996. Since then, the Ministry of Health and some private organizations have been trying to provide the youth with reproductive health information and services. The youth in Ghana are exposed to early sex and the incidence of adolescent pregnancy, abortion and STD’s are on the increase among the youth. The principal objective of the research was to study reproductive health programmes in the Sekyere East District and find out how the youth benefit from such programmes. A descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out to study how youth reproductive health programmes were run. Programme providers and youth involved in reproductive health programmes were interviewed using structured questionnaire. Group discussions were also held with the youth. The study revealed the presence of three reproductive health programmes in the district. Two were targeted for the youth and one served both adults and the youth. It was clearly indicated that majority of the youth did not have reproductive health programmes available to them, especially the out-of- school youth. Knowledge of the youth on the transmission and prevention of STD/FIIV was average. There were a few misconceptions and ignorance on certain issues. Knowledge on family planning methods was quite good and Contraceptive use was high among those involved in sexual relationships. STD/HIV prevention and other healthy behaviours were adopted. It was concluded that the programmes were useful to the youth and therefore should be extended to all the youth in the District Recommendations made included those that would make reproductive health programmes available to more youth and also to make contraceptives easily accessible to them.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Community Health, School of Medical Sciences, College of Health Sciences Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of MSc.degree in Health Services Planning and Management, 2002