It goes without saying that Young people many a time are left out in various country programs as we continue to fail to realize such ones have specific needs that might not necessarily be met by the general programs that have been put in place.
The Young Health Advocates Ghana (YHAG) is a group of young people who seek to educate, empower, and support each other in the area of HIV, sexual and reproductive health and overall wellbeing. The organization was established in February 2019 within the Community Systems Strengthening Project implemented by Hope for Future Generations (HFFG) with support from the Global Fund and the West Africa Program to Combat AIDS and STI (WAPCAS) within the New Funding Model II (NFM II).
YHAG strive to overcome their challenges, especially in the COVID-19 era and in general as they continue to find it challenging to access youth specific interventions. The UNAIDS Ghana Office, having compiled a list of concerns of YHAG organized a programme with health professionals to interact and coach members of YHAG with regards to their health and wellbeing. WAAF/IHCC head nurse, supported by a psychologist and dieticians provided members of YHAG the opportunity to interact and get answers to various youth specific concerns related to health.
As a result of this event,
- YHAG members were equipped with knowledge on how to deal with side effects of medications as well as nutritional needs.
- YHAG have stronger enthusiasm to engage with medical professionals and psychologist in sharing their experiences and concerns and having them addressed professionally.
- YHAG are conversant with their psychosocial needs with approaches in dealing with anxieties and uncertainties, and the relevant persons to contact in dire need.
- YHAG understand better various resources available to them that could help them in various ways.
UNAIDS Ghana Office, WAPCAS, HFFG and WAAF/IHCC hope that this successful initial interactive event will be the start of a more formal concrete youth specific program in Ghana and we look forward to contributing as best we can.