Protect Adolescents in Your Electoral Areas—Dr. Yabani
The Tema Metropolitan Director of Health has asked Assembly Members to be concerned about the adolescents in their communities otherwise they would grow to become burdens on society.
According to Dr. John Yabani, what would become of the youth tomorrow depends also on the inputs of the various assembly members in the communities, so they should understand adolescent issues and find innovative ways to get them prepared for adulthood “otherwise all of us would be blamed tomorrow.”
He said this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on the sidelines of a conference held at Manhean Health Centre to brainstorm ahead of the proposed establishment of adolescent health clubs in the various electoral areas in Tema Newtown.
Dr Yabani said “now there are a lot of things that are thrown at the youth, and therefore the need to help them understand the situation on the ground otherwise they would not go far.”
He asked the assembly members to join hands with health workers and push the assemblies to take decisions that would improve the situation of the adolescent especially those that were not in school.
He invited all stakeholders to assist the work of the health workers, adding that, “We should all put our shoulders to the wheel. It is not Ghana Health Service (GHS) or Social Welfare Department alone who should do it, but all of us must put our heads together, especially the assembly members because they are leaders in the communities and have a certain following.”
The Head of the Manhean Health Center, Dr. Joseph Donkor, observed the need to establish adolescent clubs in the Compound Health Improvement Services (CHIPS compounds) in the area so that the Adolescent Corner would not be overstretched.
He hinted that the CHIPS compounds were gradually being destroyed, saying that “the lightening system has been destroyed by the community; water system has been tapped into so the water doesn’t flow anymore, with others using the facility as their sleeping place.”
He said, “If we were getting about 284 adolescents coming for antenatal care at the adolescent corner, it gives us a clue that this place is so friendly they can just walk in, learn and equip themselves with knowledge and power to fight the challenges they face.”
Mrs. Grace Amewu, Adolescent Focal Person for the Tema Metropolis, said that the Manhean Adolsecent Corner was established in 2015, but had no permanent structure until February 2016 when Marie Stopes International Ghana provided an amount of Ghana Cedis (GH¢) 8,217 for the construction of a permanent facility for the centre.
She said Manhean Adolescent Corner had made the news and people from outside the region were coming to understudy their operations, “So if those far away are impressed and are coming to assist, what about those of us here who are close to the facility. We have to help promote their work.”
The Focal Person for the Manhean Adolescent Corner, pushed for the establishment of adolescent clubs in the communities by saying that, “Those who normally visited the corner were students, so I asked, what about the community? So why don’t we establish some in the communities so that those who were drop outs can have access to the centre.”
Mr. Godfred Abbey, Assembly Member for the Oninku Electoral Area, confessed that Assembly Members in Tema East had failed to fulfill all promises to the centre since the inception of the adolescent corner concept, hinting that “this time round we would everything to assist our younger brothers and sisters succumb their challenges.”
Since its inception, the Manhean Adolescent Corner had 1,484 adolescents made up of 574 males and 910 females visiting with issues ranging from Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI), delayed menstruation, bad eating habits, physical abuses, among others.