Nana Bosomprah Kese II, the chief of Assin Anyinabrimin in the Assin South District, has expressed concern about the spate of teenage pregnancies in the area saying it is a threat to national development.
He blamed the situation on irresponsible parenting and lack of sex education in schools and called on teachers and other stakeholders to collaborate to reverse the trend.
Nana Kese II, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, said young adolescents, particularly girls between the ages of 13-15 were being lured into early sex and multiple sexual relationships without the requisite knowledge on contraception or the essence of abstinence from sex till one reaches adulthood.
This, he noted, called for a concerted engagements to find meaningful solutions to the concern, adding that it would be disastrous for the growth and development of young girls if the situation persists.
He cited rising levels of poverty and unemployment in the area as the core factors pushing irresponsible parents to trade their children’s virginity for as low as 10 – 20 cedis.
Nana Kesse said the situation had dropped the age at first sex in the area for girls to 10 years and that of young boys to 12 years.
“There is a greater responsibility on parents and teachers to complement each other’s efforts to inculcate the right moral behaviour in children” he said.
He said plans were far advanced to involve adolescent youth clubs in some communities to undertake sex education in the various communities.
What is needed is a national policy and legal framework to deal drastically with culprits who engage in such acts to serve as a deterrent to others, he noted, stressing that “what is more worrying is that teenagers were becoming mothers.”
Nana Kesse urged government to adequately resource the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVSU) of the Ghana Police Service, the Department for Social Welfare to deliver on its mandate.
He appealed to traditional authorities in the area to ban teenagers from watching movies at cinema centres in their areas as some films do influence some youth to engage in early sex.
A teenage mother told the GNA that many men were against the use of contraceptives.
She said they had to resort to the use of mixture of herbal concoctions and paracetamol to either prevent or terminate pregnancies but were occasionally unsuccessful.
She appealed to the traditional authorities and the security agencies to arrest herbalists in the community who engaged in the selling of such abortion concoctions and sex enhancement drugs to the youth.