Unprotected sex alarming among girls in Tano North Municipality

By Dennis Peprah, GNA    

Duayaw-Nkwanta (Ahafo), Feb. 14, GNA –
Unprotected sex is contributing to a surge in teenage pregnancy in the Tano
North Municipality of the Ahafo Region.

Reports showed that more girls in the
Municipality, some as low as nine years, could not complete their basic
education because of unwanted pregnancies.

In 2019, the Municipality recorded 306
pregnancies mostly between 13 and 17 years, 326 in 2016, 404 in 2017 and 437 in
2018.

Mrs Freda Prempeh, the Deputy Minister of
Gender, Children and Social Protection, raised the concern when she interacted
with more than 1,000 students and pupils at a forum on Adolescent Sexual Health
Rights held at Duayaw-Nkwanta in the Ahafo Region.

The Ministry with support from the United
Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) organised the forum to sensitise the
participants on child right interventions, laws, conventions and protocols.

Mrs Prempeh who is the Member of Parliament
(MP) for Tano North, indicated that adolescent girls were particularly
vulnerable in harmful practices and sexual and gender-based violence of all
forms.

She appealed to parents to collaborate with
traditional authorities and teachers to monitor movements of girls in the area
to help in the drastic reduction, if not total prevention of the teenage
pregnancy menace.

Education on sexual reproductive health care
services must also be intensified in public schools for girls to understand and
control their sexual behaviours, Mrs Prempehs said.

Between 2000 and 2013, about 177,841 cases
including rape, defilement, incest and compulsory marriages were reported to
the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police
service, the MP stated.

In addition, she said about 32 per cent of
women and girls between 15 and 24 years thought that wife beating could be
justified due to socio-cultural norms and stereotypes.

Mrs Prempeh expressed regret that Ghana was
among 29 countries in Africa and the Middle East where Female Genital
Mutilation was still prevalence despite efforts being made to put an end to the
practice.

Among other visions, Mr. Faisal Bawa,
Programme Assistant at the UNFPA said the UN agency worked to ensure zero
maternal deaths in the country.

He underscored the need to empower girls to
be able to stand for their sexual and other human rights to enable them to
become responsible women.

By so doing, their lives would be devoid of
any form of abuse, exploitation and harmful practices that impeded their growth
and development, he added.

Mr. George Yaw Ankamah, the Bono, Bono East
and Ahafo Regional Director of the Department of Children, indicated that cases
of child labour had reduced because many children had been enrolled in schools.

He observed that the school feeding
programme had been a contributor to increased enrolment in primary schools in
the three Regions and called on the government to strengthen the programme.

Mr. Ankamah reminded parents it was an
offence to use their children for exploitative work, saying culprits would be
prosecuted.

GNA 

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