Dr Hawa Malechi - the Gynaecologist at the Tamale Teaching Hospital

Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) is a fundamental human right particularly for adolescents who begin to experience some form of development and changes in their body.

However, the impact of COVID-19 has caused the shutdown of sexual reproductive health services in some health centers in the northern region.

Dr Hawa Malechi, a Gynaecologist at the Tamale Teaching Hospital has noted that teenagers are now exposed to Sexual Transmitted Infections (STIs), unwanted pregnancies and having bad decisions to go for unsafe abortions and the complications that come with it due to the unavailability of SRHR services.

She said the situation has become worse since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic because certain services within health facilities have gone down and others shut down including reproductive health clinics just to reduce staff exposure.

“And at the end of the day, they’re left to themselves and what they hear on social media and from friends, and most of the time, they don’t take the best decisions and end up with difficulties”

The Gynaecologist disclosed this in an interview with THE CUSTODIAN on the sidelines of the Regional Teens Summit organised by Tiyumba Hope Foundation over the weekend in Tamale.

She also highlighted on the menstrual circle of teenagers and the hygienic conditions in which they (adolescents) are expected to keep their bodies anytime they have their menses.

She further advised adolescents to always seek information from the right people and avoiding abusing contraceptives they buy from chemical shops.

Dr Hawa Malechi believe that as a country, Ghana is not doing too well to promote health education, adding most public institutions do not have youth centers where the youth can go and access sexual reproductive health services without the stigmatization.

She indicated only a few nongovernmental organizations are spearheading such initiative in the country but lamented there is no much in the public sector and the pandemic has also dwindle the little public interventions.

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