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Category Archives: Issues!

Issues from my world of Journalism, Advocacy and Social development!

Sex For Fees! #SRHR

This Thursday 12 March 2015, we are talking Sexual Reproductive Health on the Maternal Health Channel Television Series…. With focus on “Transactional Sex” aka “Survival Sex” or “Sex in exchange for Financial or Lifestyle rewards”

Is it really happening? Can we openly talk about it? What about its implications for Health, Population & Development?

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Many young people face serious pressure, especially adolescent girls to exchange sex for money, in many cases, to pay for education or survive in a tough economic environment. The Maternal Health Channel crew visited a university campus, they bring you a real life drama that may be familiar to many of us.

Joyce needs money to pay her fees but is selling her body the only option? What are her alternatives? How does she deal with peer pressure? Make time for the show this Thursday 12 March 2015 and every other Thursday on GTV at 8 pm….. and follow the discussions!

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Close The Gap This World AIDS Day #WAD2014

World AIDS Day 2014 is an opportunity to harness the power of social change to put people first and close the gap. Ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030 is possible, but only by closing the gap between people who have access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services and people who are being left behind.

WAD2014

Closing the gap means empowering and enabling all people, everywhere, to access the services they need.

  • By closing the HIV testing gap, the 19 million people who are unaware of their HIV-positive status can begin to get support.
  • By closing the treatment gap, all 35 million people living with HIV will have access to life-saving medicine.
  • By closing the gap in access to medicines for children, all children living with HIV will be able to access treatment, not just the 24% who have access today.
  • By closing the access gap, all people can be included as part of the solution.

Closing the gap means that ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030 is possible.

More information is available at:

 Facebook #WAD2014 #CloseTheGap 

 
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Posted by on December 1, 2014 in Ghanabakwamena Zone!, Issues!

 

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Why Africa Must #EndChildMarriage Now

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My 1st Information Graphics

I spotted a couple of infographics that caught my attention and tickled my fancy in 2013, they were very cool- cool enough to inspire me to explore making them- but after many tries I didn’t seem to be getting it till after the JHR DataViz 2014 (#jhrDV14) training by the Journalists for Human Rights team. The 2 day intensive data and visual journalism training and competition brought together journalists from top media outlets in Ghana to learn and practice telling visual stories. It was an opportunity for me to develop data skills, update my source of information, understand to enable me communicate it through visual stories. 🙂 worth the attempt!

I have moved from struggling with data to making data look beautiful and being consumable information. Infographics aren’t new though- they have been around since 7500 BC (cave men drawing on walls..lols). In simple words I say they are “visual representations of information or data”. You can have a live and interactive feel of my work here.

My first Infographic

I am grateful to Ghana’s Biggest Network of Bloggers and Social Media Enthusiasts – BloggingGhana, for the opportunity to build my capacity especially Nehemiah Attigah and the InformGhana team:) not forgetting Curious Minds Ghana & Y4CARMMA for the push and sparking the idea behind my first infographic… as well as you! Get ready to enjoy a blend of me in infographics, Thank You!

 
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Posted by on February 18, 2014 in Ghanabakwamena Zone!, Issues!

 

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African Union to Hold Memorial Service for late President Nelson Mandela

Addis Ababa, 6th December 2013 –The African Union Commission has the honour to inform Africans worldwide and friends of Africa that following the passing on of former President Nelson Mandela of the Republic of South Africa on Thursday 5th December 2013, a memorial service will be held at 17:00 hours on Sunday 8th December 2013, in the plenary hall at the African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. A book of condolence has been opened at the AU Headquarters for the AU Commission staff to pay homage to this Great Son of Africa. Flags at the AU Headquarters and regional offices will also be flying at half-mast for three days as the AU celebrates this Great African Hero. Nelson-Mandela’s-Top-Five-Contributions-to-Humanity The Deputy Chairperson of the Commission, H.E Erastus Mwencha, addressed the Press on 6th December 2013 at 11:00 hours and delivered a Statement on behalf of the Chairperson, H.E. Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, who is currently attending the Elysée Summit in France. A detailed program of the memorial service will be distributed subsequently. For more information visit the AU website: www.au.int   JOURNALISTS ARE INVITED TO ATTEND AND COVER THE EVENT

 
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Posted by on December 6, 2013 in Issues!

 

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Mental Health: Getting It Right!

Me: “Hello Bra Odartey”

Bra Odartey: “Hello Ato, t3 Oy)) t33n?” (Hello Ato, how are you)

Me: “Ofaine e y3 jogbaan” (I am doing fine)

Friend: “Did you just do that”

Me: “Do what” *wondering *

Friend: “Greet a mad man”

Me: *smile* “He isn’t mad, he only has a mental health problem, that’s all, and if we keep treating and tagging him a ‘mad man’ we will end up having him as one”.

Few days on I spotted an “Information about mental health” booklet by “The Kintampo Project” at the UNICEF Ghana Country Office, it brought back fond memories, when Mind Freedom Ghana engaged media professionals in a two day training workshop to ensure we were well built to capacity in spreading the word. Indeed many people find mental health puzzling and misunderstand the issue, it’s not just a Ghana thing, all across the globe- people who have little or no knowledge on the matter are likely to stigmatize and treat people with mental disorders badly.

According to information gathered, good mental health is when one can think clearly, solve problems, enjoy happy relationships and feel spiritually at ease. A mental illness or ‘mental disorder’ or ‘psychological disorder’ is when one behaves abnormally and one or others are upset by the behavior. When one is mentally ill, he/she changes and it’s often strange and hard to understand. Kindly note that schizophrenia, severe depression, manic depression, dementia, alcoholism, serious drug abuse, bad anxiety all qualify for mental illness- yes they do!

mental health

Mental illness, which is very common is mostly caused by chemical imbalances in the brain which can be due to: using illegal drugs such as cannabis, amphetamine, cocaine, heroin etc. also drinking much alcohol, serious head injuries can cause mental illness, serious head injuries and any big stress. So there is no known exact cause and nature of people’s mental illness is often unclear. I know few people who have recovered from a mental disorder- I can relate, it can be upsetting, common to be ashamed, angry, and at times guilty and frightened. Talking about the problem and taking needed steps can help ameliorate the situation and stay better.

If you are thinking metal health is infectious, you got that wrong- it’s no cough or flu. Again, everyone can be affected- children, men, youth, and women.  But we need to have access to good mental health services, we might need them one day! Truth is, most people with mental illness can be helped, and my friend and mental health professional Mr. Odonkor (Kobby Blay) demonstrated it.

How can you keep yourself mentally healthy?

  • Eat healthy diet and don’t drink too much alcohol: it can protect you from feeling anxious and depressed.
  • Do you smoke weed? It causes schizophrenia.
  • Nothing does the trick like a good night sleep, it helps you feel better, improves memory and gets mind and body in shape and strong next day.
  • Get a good laugh: it’s good for your mind and soul.
  • Crying, lols- yes, you might feel terrible at the time but one feels better afterwards.
  • Situation gets worse if you leave them, speak to someone worth trusting, family, friend or a professional.
  • Make time for yourself and things you want to do and enjoy doing.
  • Keep your relationships healthy: it makes you feel better so look after them.
  • Exercise: it’s good for the heart and blood pressure.

If you want to support other people with mental illness, you can. How?

  • Remember that mental illness is treatable and nobody’s fault.
  • Let’s not shout at, criticize, threaten or stigmatize people with mental illness- it only worsens their plight or make them violent. Mental illness can’t be caught by touching someone who is mentally ill or sharing their food.
  • We must keep our friends, be there to listen and talk to friends who are down and need us- they might help us when we need them too.
  • Support the newly set Mental Health Board to implement the Mental Health Law.

“Dear Government,

           Mental health is an integral part of health- I agree, there is no health without mental health. Let’s ensure mental health workers are supported and encouraged to continue their good work. Thank you”.

 
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Posted by on November 21, 2013 in Issues!

 

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FREE SMS Quiz on Sexual Reproductive Health Launched

The Association of Church-based NGOs in Northern Ghana (ACDEP) has launched an SMS Quiz on sexual reproductive health. The aim of the SMS Quiz is to inform adolescents in a fun and interactive way about their sexuality. That is important, since 75% of the adolescents – questioned during one of ACDEP’s research on SRH (Sexual knowledge, attitude and behavior among adolescents in Northern Ghana, June 2013) – did not know that they can get pregnant when having sexual intercourse without using any contraceptive method. Less than half of the adolescents knew that you cannot tell someone’s HIV status just by looking at them. By enhancing their knowledge they are able to make their own decisions. Participants who answer all questions will receive a ticket for the World Aids Day Event and can also win prizes like mobile phones, t-shirts and airtime.

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The SMS Quiz

Participants of the free SMS Quiz need to text a keyword “WAD2013” to 7000 (MTN) or 1904 (Airtel, Expresso). Then they will receive 11 questions about sexual and reproductive health and 3 personal questions during one week. “Participants will receive two questions a day. If they answer all questions, they will receive a ticket for the World Aids Day event at the 30th of November in the Jubilee Park. There will be performances by famous artists, drama and dance”, explains Prince Abugri programme manager at ACDEPs health unit. “Since this is a sensitive topic, I would like to emphasize that the answers are confidential and will not be shared.” In order to create more awareness for the quiz, ACDEP has partnered with Curious Minds Ghana and radio stations Kesmi FM, Fiila FM, Justice FM and Northstar FM. ACDEP has also launched the website www.wad2013.acdep.org.

 
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Posted by on November 10, 2013 in Ghanabakwamena Zone!, Issues!

 

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