Ms Caecila Wijgers, the Acting Ambassador of the Netherlands, has called on parents to discuss sexuality issues with their children at home to help promote a healthy and productive sexual life in the society.

She said this could be done by eliminating certain social values that restricted parents from discussing such issues with teenagers to help prevent unintended teenage pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.

Ms Wijgers made the call on Monday during a meeting with the Ghana Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights Alliance for Young people (GH Alliance) in Tamale.

The meeting was aimed at discussing the performance and strategic plans of the alliance.

The alliance, which consists of eight Civil Society Organizations (CSO), seeks to help promote the sexual and reproductive health and rights of all young people between the ages of ten and 24 years in the country.

These CSOs included Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG), the Northern Sector Action on Awareness Center (NORSAAC), Curious Minds, Hope For Future Generations (HFFG), Presbyterian Health Services (PHS), Savanna Signatures, Theatre for Social Change and Simli Aid.

Ms Wijgers urged young people to join youth empowerment groups that would educate and provide them with knowledge on their sexual rights.

Mr Kenneth Danuo, the National Programme Coordinator of the GH Alliance, said the GH Alliance was currently implementing a five-year (2016 – 2020) Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) programmes called, “Get Up, Speak Out” (GUSO) programme for young people between the ages of 10 and 24 years .

He said the GUSO programme seeks to ensure that all young people especially girls and young women were empowered to realize the SRHR in societies that were positive towards young people’s sexuality.

Mr Danuo said the alliance was implementing the GUSO programme in both the Northern and Upper East Regions since young people in these areas lack the opportunity to realise their SRHR to participate in discussions and decisions that affected their sexuality due to restrictions by their societal norms.

Mr John Steven Agbenyo, the Executive Director of the Savanna Signatures, said young people aged 10- 24 years constituted about 32 per cent of the country’s population translating into 7,849,520 of young people and this is expected to increase to 8,955,000 by the year 2020.

He said many of these young people lived in both the Northern and Upper East regions and were restricted in access to healthcare, treatment and support.

Mr Agbenyo said the GH Alliance in collaboration with the Ghana Health Service (GHS) and Ghana Education Service (GES) has been able to reach out and comprehensively educated 857,486 young people on sexuality issues.

He said they have also reached out and discussed with 650,805 different sexual reproductive health services and about 308,442 traditional and religious leaders, parents and guardians with SRHR campaigns to support young people’s SRHR needs.

Source: GNA/NewsGhana.com.gh