Ministry Of Gender, Children & Social Protection On Warpath Against Teenage Pregnancy

The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection has initiated a comprehensive strategy to tackle and reduce teenage pregnancy and promote adolescent reproductive health among young women and girls.

The ministry is collaborating with civil society organisations, traditional authorities, the Ghana Education Service and the metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies to educate and sensitize young women and girls in school to shun unprotected pre-marital sex.

The first in a series of workshops to sensitize young women and girls was organised in Kumasi recently for female students from selected schools in Kumasi and head-porters (kayayeis) on different days. Similar events would be organised in other parts of the country.

The deputy minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Hon. Della Sowah, who opened the workshop, said a recent research has revealed that teenage pregnancy in the country had increased from 6% to 20% over a short period.

According to the research, uneducated young women and girls are prone to becoming pregnant at tender age. Unfortunately people within this group are also unemployed.

She said the in-depth assessment of teenage pregnancy in Ghana revealed that the Greater Accra, Ashanti, Western and Brong Ahafo Regions are the areas most affected by this phenomenon.

According to her, the ministry has therefore decided to hold workshops in the worst affected districts to create awareness and sensitize school going girls and young women who are out of school.

Hon. Sowah said the aim of her ministry is to engage the youth and initiate discussions in schools and other avenues to address the challenges of teenage pregnancy. She called on parents to encourage their children and ward to take up their education seriously and also endeavor to enroll out-of-school children in schools.

A maternal health specialist from the Maternal and Child Health Hospital in Kumasi, Mrs. Faustina Osei Mensah, who made a presentation on teenage pregnancy and its effects, said 20% of adolescents go wayward if not properly taken care of.

She noted that it is therefore imperative that parents take proper care of their children and also monitor children well to ensure that they stay upright as they grow to become adults.

She advised the school-girls present at the workshop to take back to their schools the message of abstinence from sex and spread the message among their colleagues.

Mrs. Osei Mensah mentioned truncation of one’s education and death through unapproved abortion methods as some of the effects of teenage pregnancy, which can also affect the reproductive health of young women and girls.

She urged the girls to regularly visit health facilities to seek information on adolescent reproductive health to make them informed.

She advocated for the inclusion of sex education in the curricular of schools to introduce adolescents to reproductive health at early age, which would make them more empowered.

Officials of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection and their partners also visited the Oforikrom market in Kumasi to interact and sensitize head-porters (kayayeis) on the effects of teenage pregnancy and early motherhood.

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