The Kotoso Youth Friendly Centre
The Kotoso Youth Friendly Centre

The Japanese Organisation for International Cooperation in Family Planning (JOICFP), in collaboration with the Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG) and the Kwahu East District Health Directorate has constructed and handed over a GH¢340,000.00 Youth Friendly Centre to the people of Kotoso and its environs.

The project aims at promoting adolescent sexual reproductive health by improving maternal health in the community.

The project formed part of Japan’s Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Project (GGHSP).

The facility has a conference room, library, family planning unit and counselling room and is expected to equip the youth with knowledge and means to protect their sexual and reproductive health and rights.

At the inauguration ceremony at Kotoso in the Kwahu East District, Mr Tsukomu Himeno, the Japanese Ambassador to Ghana, said the facility was planned to serve about 3,500 youth between the ages of 15 and 24 years, to enable them to have access to a comfortable and supportive environment where they can always seek advice on their reproductive health without any intimidation.

He explained that through the project, three other Community-based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) Compounds at Hyewohoden, Bonkrase and Aguadze have also had a facelift, with the establishment of youth corners and the provision of solar panels to aid health services delivery.

The Ambassador said the CHPS compounds would serve the same purpose as the Youth Centre to enable other adolescents in hard to reach areas to also have equal access to quality health care services delivery.

Mr Himeno gave the assurance that Japan would continuous partnership with Ghana to help bring development to the people through the Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteer (JOCV) programme.

He said currently, the programme had 71 volunteers in Ghana, serving in various fields such as agriculture, health, education and many other areas.

Ms. Vida Efua Afful, the Kwahu East District Director of Health Services, commended the Japan-based organisation for choosing Kotoso for such a project, because it would help reduce the high level of teenage pregnancy in the area.

She said despite the interventions of the Ghana Health Service in dealing with the high teenage pregnancy rate, the problem of resourcing the youth and exposing them to healthy lifestyles still remained a challenge.

She indicated that currently, the teenage pregnancy prevalence in the community stood at 19.6 per cent, which she said, was far above that of the District of 16.0 per cent.

Ms Afful said the Directorate would continue to collaborate with Coordinators of the School-based Health Education Programme (SHEP) and other adolescent clubs to equip health staff with knowledge and skills to address Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health (ASRH) needs in communities across the District.

She, therefore, entreated the health workers to provide the youth with space to access ASHR related information and services to empower them to make better choices.

Kotoso is a fishing community in the Kwahu East District with about 16,000 inhabitants and had been recording the highest number of teenage pregnancies in the District for the past five years.


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