Adolescent reproductive health (ARH) in the Ejisu-Juaben District - a baseline survey of information, education and communication (IEC) activities

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Adolescent Reproductive Health is current major concern and alt nation’s including Ghana, are initiating or strengthening programmes to better meet reproductive health needs. A base line survey of adolescent reproductive health needs assessment carried out in 1998 revealed that there were no Information, Education and Communication Activities (IEC) or materials specific for adolescents. This is crucial if health needs of adolescents are to be met. This study attempts to find out existing IEC activities on adolescent health in Ejisu-Juaben District of the Ashanti Region. One hundred and sixteen (116) adolescents were involved in the study. An in-depth key informant interview revealed organisations and individuals involved in adolescent reproductive health. The Health Workers and Queen Mothers Association was identified as the most active organisation which is trying to revive the traditional puberty rites in its modified form as a measure of curbing Teenage Pregnancy and HIV/AIDS. There were no adolescent specific JEC activities and there were no programmes initiated and managed by adolescents. A good number of respondent’s would not like to participate in adolescent health activity. However, given communication skills and adequate information, adolescents were willing to participate in reproductive health activities. The media ranked highest as the channel for information dissemination though drama was the preferred IEC. Unemployment was the top problem adolescent’s face and therefore programmes on reproductive health should be linked with s ill training and job opportunities. Policies or legislation should be enacted to give traditional rulers the authority to impose sanctions n defaulters of puberty rites if instituted. Family laws that compel fathers to provide support for their children should be enforced. In educating adolescent, a pluralistic approach should be adopted that is both tradition I and modern methods of IEC should be used. Finally, adolescents should be encouraged to initiate and manage a greater majority of adolescent reproductive health activities for sustainability.
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 Master of Science degree in Health Services Planning and Management, 2002