Sexual Education and Reproductive Health (SEaRcH)
Since 2016, GHEI has been piloting the new program SEaRcH: Sexual Education and Reproductive Health. The semi-annual program delivers workshops on sexual education and reproductive health in four local schools. Junior high school students from different grades participate in the interactive classes, where subjects such as emotional maturity and sex, menstruation, pregnancy and the transmission of HIV and other STI’s are discussed. This year marks the third year of our five year pilot. GHEI closely monitors and evaluates the program.
The Ghana Maternal Health Survey 2017 reports that teen pregnancy and early motherhood is a major social and health issue in Ghana, especially in the Western Region where we work. An early start to childbearing greatly reduces a women’s educational and employment opportunities.
The Survey also indicated that teenage pregnancy sharply declines with education. Our SeARcH program is of therefore of utmost importance in Humjibre and surrounding communities to educate girls and boys on family planning.
Our program curriculum consists of five modules, focusing on topics like the ones mentioned above. Every module consists of multiple sessions. Twice a school term (which generally lasts three months), our GHEI team pays a visit to the junior high school classes and engages the youth in these sessions.
Our monitoring and evaluation efforts will teach us to effectively measure and scale the program, with the objective of setting an example of best practices in reducing teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections in rural Ghanaian communities like our own, which is what we strive for.