International Needs Ghana has held a National Advocacy Meeting to deliberate on issues affecting Adolescent Development. The Meeting was held as part of activities to mark  the climax the Safe and Protective Environment for Adolescent Development (SPREAD) Project which is due to end in March 2023.

The Meeting was attended by stakeholders from the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (Departments of Gender, Children, Social Welfare) Ghana Education Service, Ghana Health Service and the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service.

30 adolescents and their chaperons from eleven (11) districts of the Central, Oti and Volta  Regions where the Project is being implemented  also attended the meeting to deliver a message to government and other stakeholders on their concerns. The adolescents called for a waiver on  medical fees for victims of sexual abuse as well as tax on sanitary pads.

Representatives of the Ghana Health Service and the Ghana Police Service also  resolved to work more closely to ensure that  all cases of abuse reported at hospital are followed up.

In a Fraternal message, the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection assured  adolescents it is working  with the Ministry of Finance on the request for a waiver on taxes on sanitary pads.

The SPREAD Project which was started in 2019 is an intervention implemented by International Needs Ghana in partnership with UNICEF.

The Project is aimed at reducing Adolescent Pregnancy, Abuse and Exploitation at the community level in the Volta, Oti and Central Regions. 99 communities within 11 Districts in the three Regions benefitted from integrated programmes  such as Mentorship for Adolescents, Community-wide Outreaches, Parenting Sessions, Men and boys’ Engagement, Consultative fora with community leaders as well as sessions with duty bearers with protection mandate.