Nana Yaa Boamah II, Obaahemaa of Breman Asikuma Traditional Area, has underscored the need for parents and other stakeholders in the grooming of the girl child, to join the fight against the high rate of teen pregnancies in Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa (AOB) and Central Region as a whole.
The Queen Mother made the call at a stakeholder’s forum, organised by her office in collaboration with Breman Traditional Council, the District Education Directorate and the Ghana Health Service in Breman Asikuma.
The event, on the theme: “Reducing the High Rate of Teenage Pregnancy in Central Region; The Role of Stakeholders”, was attended by personalities including Assembly Members, Teachers, Parents, Traditional Rulers, Security personnel and other Queen Mothers in the area.
It was to school, advise and encourage stakeholders to work extra hard, despite their heavy schedules, to help adolescent girls to be abreast with their challenges and to assist them to solve them.
According to Nana Boamah, statistics available indicated that 70 per cent of children were engaged in hazardous work and abuse like sexual abuse in the central region.
AOB district, remain one of the hotspot areas of teenage pregnancies in the central region, a major contributor to maternal and child mortality complications and the leading cause of death in girls aged 15-19.
She further indicated that girls, particularly adolescent pregnant, most often faced other health risks and complications due to their immature bodies and the babies born by them were also at greater risk.
Teen and Adolescent pregnancy can also have negative social and economic effects on the girl, their families and the communities in which they live and it was about time stakeholders rigorously raised awareness of their sexual and reproductive health and rights to protect them from abuse and connect them with education and health services., she said.
Nana Boamah II mentioned minimal information about sexual and reproductive health and rights, inadequate access to services tailored to young people, and child and forced marriages as contributing factors to teenage and adolescent pregnancy.
She, therefore, called on parents to use their rich expertise to continuously counsel their girl child on the need to abstain from premarital sex, train them well, provide them with their needs and show them much love, to make it easier for the girls to confide in their parents when they have any issues.
Children must also be reminded that they were the future of the country and must take their education very seriously, eschew negative peer pressure, boldly say “No” to boyfriend and girlfriend relationships and rather aim high to become productive and self-sufficient in future, she advised.
Mr Obed Ankoh, Our Lady of Grace Hospital, Health Director, advised parents to let the well-being of their children and wards be paramount than anything else.
He appealed to the government to do everything within its jurisdiction, to strengthen National Health Systems, provide affordable and safe contraception to tackle the root cause of teen and adolescent pregnancy, and put in place a scheme to support pregnant girls and young mothers to complete their education.
Source: Ghana News Agency