File photo: Free SHS has helped reduced HIV infections, pregnancy among girls by 50%
The Director General of the Ghana AIDS Commission, Dr. Kyeremeh Atuahene, has credited the Free Senior High School policy for the 50% drop in HIV infection and teenage pregnancy cases in the country.
According to him, the policy has enabled more girls to enrol in secondary schools.
He cited the data from the Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC), which showed that Ghana recorded 16,574 new HIV infections in 2022, compared to 16,938 in 2021.
This means a 2% decrease in the new infection rate, according to a news report by asaaseradio.com.
“We know that when girls stay in school up to secondary school level, it helps to bring the number of pregnancies down. And that is a sign that we are seeing in relation to the introduction of the Free SHS, which has increased the number of enrollment of girls in secondary schools. The trends have a strong link to the Free SHS policy,” he stated.
He added that staying in school until secondary level also protects girls from HIV infections.
Dr. Kyeremeh Atuahene said that this alone cuts down the infection rates among girls by up to 50%.
“We also know that when girls remain in schools up to secondary school level, that alone is protective, so far as HIV infection is concerned, that alone reduces infection among these girls by as much as 50%,” he said.