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The project, “Removing Barriers to Safe Abortion among Young Girls in Tolon District of the Northern Region, Ghana” is being sponsored by Mannion Daniels Limited for Amplify Change Fund-UK.

The overall objective is to scale up interventions on the prevention of unintended pregnancies and reduce barriers to safe abortion practices among young girls in the Tolon District of Northern Region, Ghana.

Tolon is the most “Kayaye” (affected by the migration of youth from rural to urban) endemic District in Northern Ghana. This phenomenon induces out-of-wedlock unprotected sex, culminating in pregnancies and unsafe abortions. In 2008, teenage pregnancy in Northern Ghana was 22.6% (GSS,2009) and reduced to 10.8% in 2011 (MICS, 2012). Unintended and unprotected sexual intercourse is a pervasive phenomenon, and casual observation and anecdotal information suggest higher rates in the Tolon District. Incorrect and inconsistent contraceptive use by unmarried youth poses risks of unintended pregnancies and associated risks of backstreet abortions. Entrenched cultural and religious views against abortion make pregnant girls have clandestine abortions.

Again, the issue of abortion primarily affects young girls. Often, due to lack/inadequate access to information for some communities, girls who fall prey to these issues are stigmatised because of cultural and traditional positions towards abortion and sexual practices. Hence there is a need to ensure that both boys and girls are part of the process, both are tackling the issues at a community level, challenging stereotypes, and understanding the consequences of unsafe abortions.

Key stakeholders of the project include the Media, traditional authorities, religious leaders, NGO/CBO/FBO/CSO allies, Metropolitan, Municipal and
District Assemblies (MMDAs), Department of Gender and Children, Ghana Health Service, National Youth Authority, District (Tolon) House of Chiefs, Male and Female dominant groups at communities (Zaachi’s and Magazia’s), Association of PWDs, Special groups – Member of parliament, District Chief Executives, presiding members. Other opinion leaders, including children/young people themselves.

By the end of the project, an evidence-based report on unsafe abortion practices will be produced and disseminated to stakeholders, committees, and drama groups established in project communities to direct networked activities and enhance community education, among others.

Read a news article on activities undertaken so far: (http://www.ghananewsagency.org/health/girls-communities-sensitized-on-unsafe-abortion-130138) Published: 2018-03-19 12:15:34

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