Responsiveness of the health system to the Sexual and Reproductive health needs of Adolescents and young people in Ghana.
(2013) Responsiveness of the health system to the Sexual and Reproductive health needs of Adolescents and young people in Ghana., no. 61.
Objective: to investigate the gap between policy commitments and identified health system barriers to the provision of adolescent sexual and reproductive health. Method: the research was conducted as a desk study based on review of secondary data. The review of the literature focused on the health system barriers that young people face in accessing and utilizing sexual and reproductive health services in sub-Saharan Africa. In addition, a scoping review of relevant policy documents in Ghana was done. The strategic plan for adolescents and young people's health was found and further reviewed for its focus, strategic direction and evidence-base. Findings: the health system barriers that young people identified include unfriendly attitude of health providers, lack of confidentiality and privacy, sex of service provider, unfavourable opening hours of facilities, long waiting times and cost of accessing health services. Other programme related barriers identified include shortage of staff, shortage of medical supplies and equipment, lack of health information system for adolescents and inadequate funding. The review of the policy indicates that barriers such as shortage of health providers and gender disparity in service provider are not acknowledged in the policy and therefore no provisions have been made in the policy to address these barriers. It also come out that though the activities for addressing the barriers that have been acknowledged in the policy have been fully costed, there is no secured funding sources for the implementation of the activities. Conclusion: the government has developed a strategic plan document aimed at making the health system responsive to the health needs of adolescents. In order to achieve this aim, the government should demonstrate greater financial commitment by setting up a separate budget line for its implementation.