Gatekeepers, Umpires and Commentators in Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health in Ghana

Kofi Awusabo-Asare, University of Cape Coast
Akwasi Kumi-Kyereme, University of Cape Coast
Eugene Darteh, University of Cape Coast

Adults constitute gatekeepers, umpires and commentators on adolescent sexual and reproductive health (ASRH) but are yet to be given the attention they deserve on such issues. As policy-makers, providers, and implementers they dictate the nature of ASRH information and sources. This paper discusses the perceptions and attitudes of adults on ASRH based on 60 in-depth interviews conducted in 2005. Adults were purposively selected on the basis of their roles as parents, teachers, health care providers and community leaders. Some of the adults were against services for young people while others dictated the type of information adolescents should have. Added to these were those who projected their views, were helpful and mediated in the ASRH problems when they arose in the community. It is argued that exploring the views of adults about their encounters, fears, concerns and areas for action can form the basis to improve ASRH issues and information delivery.

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Presented in Session 179: Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health in Sub-Saharan Africa