NORSAAC, under the Get Up, Speak Out (GUSO) project, has sensitized residents of Yong Duuni, a community in the Sagnarigu municipality on their sexual and reproductive health rights. The Get Up, Speak Out (GUSO) project is a five-year partnership with SIMAVI, which is to be implemented in the Sagnerigu and Gushegu Districts of the Northern Region.
Most young people in the Northern region of Ghana, including the implementing districts, do not realize their Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) and their right to participation due to restrictions at societal, institutional and political levels that reinforce taboos on young people’s sexuality, leading to (among others), unintended (teenage) pregnancies, unsafe abortion and SGBV, and sexually-related concerns. The project seeks to ensure that; “All young people fully enjoy their sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in productive, equal and healthy societies.”
The Project Coordinator, Mr. Sumaila Mohammed, at a forum organized to interact with community members, stated that the GUSO project is designed on five outcome areas with a long-term objective of; empowering all young people, especially girls and women, to realize their sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR) in societies that are positive towards young people’s sexuality.
He said the expected participants for this activity include: The Ghana Health Service, the Ghana Education Service, District Assemblies, DOVVSU, CSOs, community focal persons and some other opinion leaders. A health professional Osman Ahmed took community members through some personal hygiene tips, sanitation, self-medication, and drug abuse.
He advised the youth to desist from use of tramadol. Tramadol, he stated, is harmful to the human system when it is abused, adding that it weakens the sexual ability of a man, which can eventually lead to impotence.
Alhaji Alhassan Seidu Kalala, a Peer Educator, who was present at the forum spoke about the desperate love for quick money among the youth and advised them to think of positive actions that will make them responsible in future rather than indulging in acts that would cost them their lives.
He advised parents to develop the habit of monitoring their children, especially in the night. This, he emphasized, will help curb the menace of teenage pregnancy and school dropouts, most especially among the girls. Alhaji Kalaala wondered why some parents will neglect their children as if they are afraid of them?
He said it is not acceptable and parents and guardians must stand up and take up the responsibility of training their children in the right way. ‘’It doesn’t matter if a child is your blood or not, what matters is that every child must be corrected and guided accordingly,’’ he stressed.
Some community members, contributing to the discussion, attributed the awkward behaviour of some children to poor parental care, watching of movies, and lack of communication between couples but called for collaborative efforts in the upbringing of children in the community, since they are the future leaders. Community members also used the opportunity to clean the entire community.
BY: LILIAN D. WALTER