Health News of 2014-08-22

Ghana’s reproductive policy not sufficient

A research finding from a study of girls’ sexual relations outcomes in Accra suggest that the Ghana’s Reproductive Policy adopted in 2000 may not be sufficient in addressing the reproductive health of young girls.

The study indicated that the behaviour of girls and their older male partners were complex and the challenges it poses to human development goals of the country and its HIV response cannot be overemphasised

The study was conducted by the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) of the University of Ghana, in collaboration with the Public Health and Population thematic area of the Economy of Ghana Nettwork (EGN), NGOs in Health, on the topic “Sugar Daddy” Babies and their Mothers: Cross-Generational Sexual Relationship and outcomes among girls in Accra in the era of HIV/AIDS.

The study revealed that policies to address reproductive health of girls and young people seem to have little or no sanctions against the sexual male partner and therefore recommended the need for a family policy to avert the negative consequences and outcomes.

It also emphasised the need for human development dimension of Adolescent Reproductive health policy to energise the political will required to address the challenges as well as conduct a larger research so that the research evidence can be communicated to policy makers, NGOs in health and gender advocates who address reproductive health challenges of young girls.

Dr Delali Badasu, Director, Centre for Migration Studies and Subject Matter Specialist for the EGN, who disseminated the finding, said despite efforts and programmes and interventions, made to promote reproductive health of young people, risky sexual behaviour remains an area of concerns.

Cross Generational sex, (sexual relationship between adults and unmarried adolescent girls with an age gap of ten years or more) though not new to African societies has become one of the risky sexual behaviours.

However the promotion of good sexual reproductive health for young girls, girl-child education and campaign against HIV and AIDS make adequate understanding of cross –generational sexual relationship in Ghana’s reproductive health outcomes and human development implications desirable.

Dr Badasu said the findings show that the birth of a child ended the cross generational sexual relationship and schooling in some cases and some of them were followed by child neglect while marriages resulted from the relationships for others.

Most the young girls become school drop outs, and where the fathers do not cater for their children, reporting to the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit of the Police Service becomes debatable especially when such Sugar Daddies are men of good standing in society.

Where there is the possibility of marriage, the children was not co-resident with their fathers, she said, and added that, a larger research can provide evidence on the wider population of young girls in Ghana.

Source: GNA
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