General News of Sunday, 9 July 2017
The Member of Parliament for Komenda Edina Eguafo Abirem (KEEA), Samuel Atta-Mills, has called on chiefs and people of Elmina to impose stiffer sanctions on males who impregnate teenage girls in the area.
Mr Atta-Mills said the move could help reduce the increasing rate of teenage pregnancy in the area.
Speaking at a durbar to climax the 2017 Bakatue festival at the forecourt of the Elmina Castle, the law maker cautioned teenage girls to be vigilant in their endeavours.
“I would urge that we put an end to or bring down the rates of teenage pregnancy. If you are a girl and you are not careful and you get pregnant, your personal development is stalled. So it is something we all have to take a look at. I will also urge that for the men who have been making these girls pregnant, we make them pay for the upkeep of these children instead of making them walk free after getting them pregnant. Teenage pregnancy is really disturbing our country,” Mr Atta-Mills said.
Making a comparison between Ghana and Norway to buttress his point, the MP said the Scandinavian state, like Ghana, had a population of about four million in the 1950s. However after more than 60 years, Norway’s population has climbed to just over five million while Ghana’s has ballooned to almost 28 million, thanks in part to factors like teenage pregnancy.
Mr Atta-Mills said rapid population growth places increased pressure on infrastructure and other resources including water and healthcare and there was the need to hold it in check.
“I would plead that the teenage pregnancy rate, let’s bring it down,” he told the gathering.
According to the Ghana Health Service (GHS) 2016 annual report on the Central Region, an average of 32 teenage girls get impregnated in a day. The report further said out of the 12,048 recorded teenage pregnancies, only 283 were married.