Adolescents not interested in abstinence

By
Laudia Sawer

Tema, Sept. 19, GNA – Adolescents Health
Providers in the Tema Metropolis say that most young people are no longer
interested in the abstinence message.

According to them, adolescents who have
already had sex were not willing to abstain making the abstinence preaching non
effective.

One of the providers said “it looks like the
abstinence preaching is not working as they prefer going for sex rather than
abstaining. One of my clients who is about 16 years is carrying her second
pregnancy even though we advised her to abstain after the first one”.

They revealed this on Wednesday during a day’s
Adolescent Training programme for the providers, patrons of adolescent school
clubs, Social Welfare and Community Development, media and the Domestic
Violence Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service.

Some of them blamed the development on the
availability of family planning services to the adolescents aged between 10 and
19 years as most girls within the age bracket were on family planning.

Others, however, believed that putting such
adolescent girls on family planning rather would help save their lives as some
of without it many would end up pregnant and either resort to criminal
abortions or end up giving birth to children they could not cater for.

Chief Inspector Sabina Ama Blay, a
representative from DOVVSU Tema Regional Command, said her outfit sometimes
recommended to such girls who report to her outfit to access family planning
services from the health centers after having a conversation with them.

Chief Inspector Blay observed that some of the
girls who were actively engaging in sexual activities, got pregnant and report
to DOVVSU when the men or boys responsible denied their involvement with them.

According to her, most girls in Tema Newtown
for instance engaged in sex and deliver at tender ages adding “if you are 15 in
Newtown and not given birth, your friends will mock you”.

Madam Matilda Mahama, Tema Metropolitan Social
Welfare and Community Development Officer, on her part, stated that her outfit
also recommend family planning to their young clients who seek help on
maintenance issues.

Mrs Gifty Francisca Ben-Aryee, National
Programme Officer, Adolescent Health, Ghana Health Service, urged adolescent
health providers not to force abstinence on adolescents who visit their
corners.

Mrs Ben-Aryee said even though health
officials had a dilemma on either following their religious beliefs condemning
family planning or pursue their professional health ethics.

She encouraged them to listen to the
adolescent, provide them with the needed information and help them to make
informed decision instead of imposing their will on them.

Dr John Yabani, Tema Metropolitan Health
Director, commended the adolescent health providers and the club matron for
availing themselves for the young people as they were the future of the
country.

Dr Yabani expressed joy that the club
programme in the area was picking up noting that other regions visited Tema to
learn from their experience.

GNA

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