Adolescent sexual and reproductive health continues to be a major public health issue in low-and middle-income countries. While many countries have policies aimed at reducing adolescent pregnancy, evidence of their impact is unclear. This study sought to explore the knowledge and awareness of policies and programmes aimed at reducing adolescent pregnancy among health and education professionals and grassroot workers in Ghana.
We employed a cross-sectional, qualitative study design involving semi-structured interviews with 30 key informants (health and education professionals and grassroot workers) in the Central Region of Ghana. We also conducted a desktop review of policies aimed at reducing adolescent pregnancy in Ghana. We used content analysis to analyse the data.
Eight of the 30 participants demonstrated awareness of policies aimed at reducing adolescent pregnancy but only two could elaborate on this. By contrast, 19 of the 30 participants were aware of relevant programmes and provided detailed description of their implementation and activities carried out under each programme. Despite participants’ low policy awareness and knowledge, their descriptions of the activities carried out under each programme aligned with the strategies and activities of the policies mentioned, as evident from the desktop review of the policies.
Greater engagement of stakeholders in future policy development should increase policy awareness. Dissemination of policy content through community-based media channels and in local languages should promote and facilitate stakeholder engagement, which in turn should increase effective policy implementation with subsequent reduction of adolescent pregnancy.