The Gold Fields Ghana Foundation (GFGF) in partnership with the Prestea-Huni Valley Municipal Assembly (PHMA) and the Ghana Education Service has rolled out an adolescent sexual reproductive health and development programme.
This is to address the high rate of teenage pregnancy cases recorded over the years among schoolchildren and other residents of communities within the Damang and Huni-Valley educational circuits.
This is in line with the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) commitments to improving the education and health of its host communities’ members.
Mr. Charles Kofi Nti, Acting General Manager of Gold Fields Ghana Limited (Damang Mine), at the programme’s launch explained that the adolescent sexual reproductive health and development programme also demonstrates further commitment of Gold Fields to achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“Goal 3 is ‘ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages’, and Goal 4 is ‘ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting life-long learning opportunities for all’,” he said.
According to him, 120 peer educators have been trained from Junior High Schools (JHS). These students were selected from 24 schools in the Damang and Huni-Valley circuits of education.
For upper primary, 174 peer educators from 29 schools have also received training on adolescent reproductive health with emphasis on teenage pregnancy and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI).
Also, he said, Gold Fields Ghana Foundation has sponsored the training of 58 teachers and facilitators as counsellors for the schools and supervisors for the peer educators.
He mentioned that Parents Teacher Association (PTA) meetings will provide a platform for facilitators to encourage parents to monitor their wards and assist in addressing their sexual reproductive health and developmental concerns, as well as provide them with their basic needs.
Again, he said, queen mothers and assemblymembers of the 10 host communities at the Damang Mine have been engaged to lead behavioural change activities in the communities.
Mr. Nti said the programme is expected to be executed at a cost of GH¢70,000 annually for five years. The overall objective of the programme is to achieve a 30 percent drop in teenage pregnancies among schoolchildren in Damang and Huni-Valley Circuits by 2025.
Mr. Robert Siaw, Regional Manager-Community Relations Officer of Gold Field Ghana Limited, noted that the future of these young ones is very bright.
“They need to be educated on good personal hygiene for their personal health development,” he said.
Mrs. Vida Kwofie, Director of Education at the Prestea Huni Valley Municipality, added that adolescence is a transitional period for the young ones; hence, it is incumbent on parents and guardians to educate them on adolescent reproductive health.
She pointed out that during BECE each year, some of the candidates who come to write the examination are pregnant: “This does not augur well for development of the community and Municipality at large, so we informed Gold Fields about this situation and they have responded accordingly; hence the introduction of this programme”.
She urged parents to train their wards on good grooming such as bathing, brushing teeth among others. She expressed hope that the adolescent sexual reproductive health and development programme will be maintained.