Sexual Health Education Plus Makes Inroad in Ghana

DSCF7842Sexual health conditions do not only affect the physical well being of young people, it affects their psychological development too. Sexual health conditions are integral part of the wellbeing of people.

In Ghana however, cultural and religious norms forbid comprehensive sexual health education both in school and at homes. The case for sexual health education is worse in Northern Ghana comprising Northern, Upper East, Upper West and Volta Regions.

SHE+ project was designed to educate and provide information to young people, both male and female on their Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) using the mobile phone.

This project is part of Savana Signatures’ innovative use of ICT tools to promote and provide Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights information to young people in Ghana’s deprived regions.

It provides young people free access to comprehensive digital sexual and reproductive health information to enable them makes informed choices or decisions.

SHE+ platform is complementing the government of Ghana’s efforts to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDG5) on Universal Access to Reproductive Health (Target 5.B – Achieve, by 2015, universal access to reproductive health.)

Since it launched in 2013, the platform has been offering youth the opportunity to access free Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) information through mobile phones via short message and Interactive Voice Response (IVR).

Though running in four regions of Ghana, SHE+ platform can be accessed anywhere in the country by simply texting the word “SHE” to short codes 7000 for MTN users or “SHE” to 1904 for Vodafone, Airtel and Espresso mobile users.

In order to provide more exclusive, reliable and convenient sexual and reproductive health information to young people the platform also provided opportunity to the young people to have direct contacts with health professionals on their sexual and reproductive health needs. This service can be accessed through the following hotlines;

Northern Region: 023 377 88 55

Volta Region: 023 377 88 89

Upper West Region: 023 577 88 55

Upper East Region: 0235 77 88 86

Currently, over 6,200 young people have registered on the platform and are accessing quality, reliable, convenient and private SRHR information and making decisions about their sexuality. Beside this overwhelming numbers, the platform has created awareness about SRHR issues and opened discussions on SRHR education.

An officer of SavSign interacting with tailors, hair dressers in Tamale

What accounted for this success?

SHE+ project used various means including shop to shop campaigns, school clubs, radio discussions, posters and radio jiggles make SRHR information available to young people.