Let’s prevent unwanted pregnancies to eliminate baby abandonment

Accra- Stakeholders in child care development have called for effective implementation of policies and programmes on family planning methods to prevent unwanted pregnancies.

The call follows report of the dumping of a newborn baby into a toilet dustbin at Breman Asikuman in the Central Region.

Sources said the baby was discovered after a lady went to use a female public toilet and saw the baby lying in the bin with used toilet papers covering it.

Dr Leticia Appiah, the Executive Director, National Population Council, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Accra, on the abandonment of babies, said many teenagers engaged in such practices because they did not plan for the babies and due to financial constraints, ended-up dumping them in toilets and uncompleted buildings.

She said statistics from the Ghana Statistical Service, showed that 17 per cent of child birth in the country were unwanted pregnancies and said it was time family planning methods were implemented strictly to stop such occurrences.

“…These babies can become responsible leaders in future, if they grow up in a rich family and on the other hand become wayward when they are not properly taken care of, so we must address these issues now.”

Dr Appiah called for psychological educational programmes to support women who indulged in such acts and vigorous implementation of family planning policies to address the issue.

She also called for stakeholder discussions to increase the age of marriage for women from 18 to 21 years and reward any region that recorded lower cases of teenage pregnancies.

“We need to develop a comprehensive data on the number of girls in a particular district who are in tertiary without being pregnant, number of girls in a particular professions for an award to motivate other districts to follow suit.”

Mr Albright Banibensu, the Vice President of the Ghana Psychological Association, said most ladies indulged in the act because of post-partum depression.

He said about 10 percent of young women suffered such depressions because they felt unloved, unneeded and felt the “coming of their new born baby was a mistake, “and advised such people to seek psychological care.

Mr Banibensu called for an intensive educational campaign on baby dumping prevention to educate the public against such practices.

Mr Seth Appiagyei, the Assistant Director, Social Welfare Department, advised young women going through psychological problems to visit the Department for counselling.

He said the phenomenon was getting to the tipping point and that the Department had trained professionals across the country who took care of dumped new born babies from their formative stages to the tertiary level of education.

Source: Ghana News Agency

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