Presentation Outline Brief Background to the Project – Mobile Component Rationale Objectives Geographical area & Target groups Using mobile telephony strategically to promote adolescent sexual & reproductive health. Kick-starting the project: Project inception & implementation workshops organised. Change management workshop organised. Our experiences with mobile telephony. Plans for 2013
Rationale for Introducing the Mobile Component for ADRH Young men and women are a vulnerable group, as social, economic and cultural situations may lead them to early sexual activity and high risk. Young people need, want and have a right to sexual and reproductive health information & services. Ignoring their sexuality will not make their problems go away. It only makes them worse. Therefore, recognising the need for adolescents sexual and reproductive health information and services, ACDEP introduced the mobile component in its ADRH project as an innovative approach to help address adolescent sexual and reproductive health issues, including: Unwanted pregnancies, Unsafe abortion STDs, including HIV/AIDS, through the promotion of responsible and healthy reproductive and sexual behaviour, including voluntary abstinence, and the provision of appropriate services and counselling in rural communities.
Key ConcernsSexually active adolescents are at risk of getting and passing on STDs including HIV/AIDS.Increasing rates of maternal mortality among adolescents.Increasing prevalence of unsafe abortion.Early child bearing impedes the educational, economic and social status of women.
Factors Responsible: 1. Limited access to Information Health Services Access to information is a right of all young persons. But young people in rural communities in Northern Ghana do not have access to proper information on sexual and reproductive health. Young people get information from their friends, which are least reliable. There are several misperceptions like “HIV virus will spread by touching the person who is infected by HIV”, “a girl cannot become pregnant the first time she has sexual intercourse”. As a result, adolescents are susceptible to sexual violence and exploitation, infection of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections, and unplanned pregnancies. Apart form these, the cultural and traditional practises remain as barriers for the young people to practise their sexual and reproductive health rights. Parents are reluctant to give information to their children because discussing these health issues are either embarrassing to them or they think these information would encourage them to experiment with sex.
2. Limited Access to Reproductive Health Services Increasing prevalence of unsafe abortion, maternal mortality, HIV/AIDS, teenage pregnancy poses a serious health concern for adolescents. This shows the need for greater access to reproductive health care services. The community and the health care providers do not always provide adolescents with proper care. Their needs are discouraged or ignored. Youth-friendly health care approaches are completely lacking adding on to the problems of the adolescents . Adolescents do not approach the health care providers because their right to privacy, confidentiality and respect is sometimes not considered. They are often made to feel guilty. Geographical, accessibility also plays a major role. The health centres are not always at an accessible distance. It is very difficult for the adolescents to travel to the health centres. Adolescents may not have enough money to pay fees for their health care so they may be reluctant to go to the health centres.
ObjectivesTo facilitate the development and implementation of an integrated adolescent health programme for a broader primary health care at community level.To enhance and integrate ICT strategies and tools as a development approach in PHC services.
Geographical Area & Target Groups The current geographical scope of the project includes: Walewale in the West Mamprusi District of the Northern Region; Langbensi and Nalerigu in the East Mamprusi District of the Northern Region; Salaga and Loloto in the East Gonja District and Kpandai District respectively in the Northern Region, Garu in the Garu-Tempane District of the Upper East Region. The target groups are adolescents and their coordinators
Using Mobile Telephony Strategically to Promote Adolescent Sexual & Reproductive Health: Kick-starting the ProjectHeld planning meetings to define the role of mobile telephony in the project.Organised project inception & implementation workshops for end-users.Developed content for dissemination to target groups.Organised change management workshops for managers & other stakeholders of the project.
Using Mobile Telephony Strategically to Promote Adolescent Sexual & Reproductive Health: Our Experiences In collaboration with Text-to-Change, text messaging system has been established to share information with PEs, TBAs, TMPs, PLWHAs and mothers: The health messages / information produced include: Maternal health and child welfare – pregnancy related issues, nutrition and antenatal / postnatal care. Pregnancy & danger signs. Preventive health issues and how to manage such conditions should they occur. Adolescent sexual and reproductive health rights. Sexually transmitted infections. Teenage pregnancy – dangers/effects/prevention. Community water and sanitation. Personal hygiene. General best practices in health. For now messages are sent to about 150 peer educators and their coordinators through text messages at 12:00 hrs on every Monday.
Our Experiences with Mobile Telephony….The health information to the target groups was planned to be in the form of : Quiz questions, Awareness messages, Reminders, Keyword feedback options, Reproductive health encyclopedia. For example, sending the key word M4RH to 1902 as an sms message will give you a mobile reproductive health encyclopedia via sms.
Our Experiences with Mobile Telephony….Messages received are discussed at monthly meetings.The discussions are moderated by coordinators / peer educators of the youth clubs to ensure that they stay focus.Those who seek further information go to the ICT centres.
Plans for 2013 ACDEP will upscale the project from 5 clinics to 10 in 2013. Will set up and maintain mobile management platforms and solutions (both SMS & voice) appropriate for rural circumstances for our mobile clinics and target groups (Adolescents, TBAs, TMPs, Mothers Health workers). Mobile telephony will also be used to improve communication lines between the different actors in the project which will be built around a better link between pregnant women, communities, TBAs’, midwives / nurses and health facilities. Will introduce mobile voice messaging component to strengthen referral and communication to improve reduction in delays after recognising danger signs. Will deploy the system at the ACDEP head office in Tamale and manage it locally. Will provide mobile phones to leaders of the target groups.
Youth using mobile phones in an HIV / AIDS drama performance
Thank YouClarifications, Comments & Questions are most Welcomed