teenage pregnancy
pregnancy

The Chiefs and other traditional leaders in the Agogo Traditional Area of the Asante-Akim Central District, have pledged their support to help combat the rising incidence of teenage pregnancy and early marriages in the area.

Nana Obeng Agyei Sawansan, the Mmoanikohene of the Traditional Area, said though the role of traditional leaders in curbing the menace is paramount to achieving desired outcomes, they would need the collaboration and support of all stakeholders – parents, teachers and Civil Society Organizations (CSO’s), among others.

Speaking at a stakeholders’ forum on teenage pregnancy and early child marriage at Agogo, Nana Sawansan said there is the need for parents to keep an eagle’s eye on their children, especially teen-age girls and do everything to provide all their needs.

“This is very important to protect them from falling prey to men who always use money as inducements for sexual relationships, which often resulted in unwanted pregnancies.

“Needy girls are always vulnerable”, he added and urged parents as well as teachers to collaborate efforts in taking good care and ensuring children’s proper monitoring both at home and school for their total protection.

The forum was organized by the Sekyere East Cluster of World Vision International Ghana (WVI-G) in collaboration with the Obaapa Development Foundation.

It was aimed at soliciting the support of traditional and other opinion leaders in the local communities to address teenage pregnancy and early child marriage in the area.

Nana Sawansan said the Agogo Traditional Council is planning to work together with the Department of Social Welfare and the Ghana police Service to deal with irresponsible men who impregnate young girls and refuse to take care of them.

Nana Afrakoma Serwaa Kusi Oboadum, Queen of the Agogo Traditional Area, advised mothers not to be compelled by financial constraints to give out their children for early marriages.

They should, she said, report all cases of violence against them and their children to the Police, Department of Social Welfare and the traditional leaders, for redress.

Mr Joshua Baidoo, Southern Operations Manager of WVI-G, said the focus and motivation of WVI-G in funding and supporting the initiative was to help ensure “a better balance of men and women’ in the society”.

This would help enhance enrollment, retention, basic school completion rate and a reduction of drop-out incidence, especially among teenage school girls.

Nana Adjoa Awindor, Executive Director of the Obaapa Development Foundation, said her organization’s focus is to protect and empower teenage girls to attain higher academic levels to enable them play meaningful roles in the society.

She said her organization aims at sending 1,000 teenage mothers back to school, adding that, so far 60 of them in the Ashanti and Volta regions, have been supported to return to school.

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