The Manager of the Tema Metropolitan Assembly (TMA) Maternity and Children’s Clinic has emphasized the need to empower the Ghanaian adolescent to become responsible citizens.
“One thing we have realized is that the adolescent needs to be empowered. Some of them are school drop-outs. Some of them have attained levels where they need to be trained,” Mrs. Gifty Ama Bondzi said.
She was speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) when the national wire service interacted with officials of the clinic to get firsthand knowledge of the activities of the adolescent corner which is sited at the clinic.
According to her, in their own small ways, the corner was giving valuable training to some of the adolescents who visited the corner.
“The challenge we have right now is that the few who were given the skills and training need to come and train the others but we lack the finances to back our plans,” she said.
She observed that the awareness about issues of the adolescent were lacking in most Ghanaian societies adding “as most people don’t know the challenges they go through, if you don’t open up they would shy away.”
Mrs. Bondzi lamented the poor relationship that existed between parents and their adolescent children “which prevent them from knowing certain things about themselves or even express what is on their minds.”
He added that, “Their issues are delicate and a shared responsibility, and as the nurses are playing their role, parents and the community should do theirs so we would have a healthy nation.”
Mrs. Clerenda Ibrahim, TMA clinic Adolescent Focal Person for the corner, observed the challenging conditions under which they worked.
She said, “Dealing with adolescents is challenging, but with assistance, we could set up the place such that it would be comfortable for the adolescent. It would even be more interesting when we have games and other facilities to engage them, and as they interact, they would be talking because it is difficult to get them talking.”
She therefore appealed to individuals and organizations to come to the aid of the TMA clinic Adolescent Corner to make it more conducive and attractive for the adolescent to come and talk about their problems.
She added that once the corner was accommodating, they could walk in and out easily, and bring their friends because of the games, televisions, audio visual presentations with role plays which would let them watch themselves on the screens.
“Sometimes some of them need financial assistance to help them pay for drugs etc. But there are times I have to part with my money to help some of these adolescents who visit the corner,” she said.
The corner operated in a very small space furnished with wobbly two chairs and a table with a torn ceiling and a leaking roof above.