Newborn Plans: Nurse Leader in Ghana Encourages First-Time Teen Moms to Take Charge of Their Lives

By Maryalice Yakutchik
April 05, 2019
Julia is one of countless health workers who go beyond their traditional roles to help clients when, where, and how they need it the most.
Abura Asebu Kwanmankese District, Ghana — 
Dorothy Nyarko gave birth at a local health facility on a Saturday and, under the watchful care of a vigilant midwife, returned home in time to take a high school entrance exam that Monday—which she passed.
A mother at 17, Rejoice Agbedanu believed she could best secure her daughter’s future by finishing high school at the boarding school where her aunt teaches. She enrolled, and now spends weekends visiting her baby at her sister’s, and plans to be a TV journalist. With support from other adolescent mothers, Sandra Ewusi Essel learned to ignore the gossip about “a girl like her” and look to the future. She adopted a family planning method and became a peer advocate for other girls.