Former Gender Minister Dr. Otiko Afisah Djaba has called for public discussion on the best strategies to curb the menace of teenage pregnancy in the country.
Sharing her thoughts on the recent data by the Ghana Health Service (GHS) on the number of teenage pregnancy cases recorded in 2020, she expressed concern over why the cases of teenage pregnancy is on the rise.
“What can we do to reduce teenage pregnancy? These are our future leaders. Why should children be getting pregnant? Who are these unscrupulous men and boys putting our daughters at risk? Why do the girls allow it? Please share your thoughts on strategies to curb teenage pregnancy. This is so serious.”Otiko Afisah Djaba
Data from the Ghana Health Service indicate that, 109,888 cases of teenage pregnancy cases were recorded in the year 2020. The statistics released by the Ghana Health Service put the Ashanti Region on top of the table with 17, 802 teenage pregnancies while the Ahafo region is at the bottom of the table with 2,625 cases.
Meanwhile, the Ghana Coalition of NGOs in Health has called on the government, CSOs and parents to rekindle sex education among children by ensuring that teenagers understand what it takes to prevent unwanted pregnancies.
Commenting on the rise in teenage pregnancy, the National Vice Chairman of the Coalition Mr. Ninsau Kwesi Darku-Alazar, also blamed the menace on the emergence of COVID-19 and the double-track system;as the major causes of the huge teenage pregnancy cases recorded in Ghana for 2020.
COVID-19 has a role to play
According to the Coalition COVID-19 has a role to play owing to the lockdown;which saw children staying at home for approximately eight months.
The Vice Chairman of the Coalition insisted that several children were exposed to temptations during that period as their parents go to work leaving them at home, “so they eventually engage in such acts but because of inexperience they finally get pregnant.”
Mr. Darku-Alazar further disclosed the many teenage pregnancy cases recorded in the country should also be attributed to the double-track system. He explained that children now get enough time to relate at home, unlike the previous system where students were given just a few days to stay at home.
“As the children stay at home for long, some attend classes and begin to relate fraternally;unlike the old system where students stayed at home for just one month or two.”Mr. Darku-Alazar
He also urged that people should not be ridiculing the Ashanti Region for leading the chart released;by the Ghana Health Service in terms of pregnancy cases.
He pointed out that the Ashanti has a huge population over any other region in the country,;therefore if all things being equal, the region should always be seen on top of the table in such situations.
“People should not be surprised and think that children in the Ashanti region are more promiscuous than the other regions, it’s just because of the larger population.”Mr. Darku-Alazar