| Updated Aug 22, 2017 at 3:03pm


Stephanie Linus and presenter Mavis Aryee


Erika Goldson, UNFPA Deputy Country Representative and Mavis Aryee
Active Studio during the programme
The panel on GEMS OF OUR TIME
A prominent Nigerian actress and an Ambassador for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in West and Central Africa Stephanie Okereke Linus has restated the need for young people to be given adequate information and education on reproductive health issues. She says this will help them make the right decisions when they are confronted with pressure to have sex.

Stephanie Linus said this when she featured as a special guest on the GEMS OF OUR TIME programme on Uniiq 95.7 megahertz. It was part of her activities when she visited Ghana as a guest on the Glitz show over the weekend.

According to Stephanie,” there is a lot of miseducation” going on and that is affecting the decisions taken by both boys and girls that lead them into serious problems like unwanted pregnancy and even abortions. She stressed that education on such issues should not be done for only girls but it is important to add the boys. Citing an instance where a member of the resident Curious Minds group had related how some boys thought the best punishment they can give to a girl is to impregnate her, she said such ones do not know that they are making themselves susceptible to sexually transmitted infections (STIs). With the right information many boys will keep away and allow girls to grow.

For the boys who deny responsibility, Stephanie had a word of advice for them. “Even if you run away, you know you did it. It will follow you.” She added that such a boy will not like to be a father because of the attendant responsibility “but he becomes a father by proxy. Young men should know they must be responsible”.

Stephanie Linus in recounting how she became an ambassador for maternal health and its related issues said that she was touched by a story of fistula she heard about. She decided to have a movie titled DRY to bring the challenges of those who suffer this condition to the fore. This addressed issues like early marriage in addition. She was thus approached to use that same passion to continue the advocacy.

In relating to young people, she asked them to reflect. “When we do things, we have to feel the pain of the other person”, and she asked the boys especially “how will you feel when it’s done to your child when you grow up?”

Above all, Stephanie posed the question especially with the debate about comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) for young people. “Why not equip them with the right information so that they can take good care of themselves?” She said young people should not be in a hurry because there is so much to live for, later on.

The Deputy Country Representative of UNFPA in Ghana Erika Goldson in a contribution added that her outfit is working with the Ghana Education Service to fashion out the right approach to address the concerns being raised.

The presenter of the programme Mavis Aryee pleaded that movies should always reflect the reality so that young people can benefit. She asked that young people who take the lead in sensitising their colleagues through positive peer education should be supported to do more.

GEMS OF OUR TIME is the trail-blazing youth programme that addresses varied concerns of the youth. It is on air every Saturday at 4pm.

Story: Kingsley Obeng-Kyereh