She said teen pregnancy was a development issue rooted in parental neglect, poverty, gender inequality and violence and there was the need to directly engage the victims and perpetrators to educate them on its consequences.

teenage pregnancy
pregnancy

Speaking at a capacity building forum for adolescent girls in the Mfantsiman District on Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV), teen pregnancy and early marriage, she said teenage pregnancy has become a major national social and health concern.

The forum, organized by the Department of Gender in collaboration with the Central Regional Coordinating Council and funded by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), was on the theme, “Empowering the girl child to prevent SGB, teenage pregnancy and early marriage”.

It was aimed at building the capacities of young girls on the effects and prevention of teen pregnancy, SGBV, and early marriage in the Region and to create in them the need to protect themselves.

Mrs Kpe said the Department of Gender in collaboration with DOVVSU, the National Youth Authority, Civil Society Organizations and other stakeholders were poised to introduce strategies to eradicate the menace.

She said strategies outlined by the Region to address the situation to include: engaging the communities at night to offer comprehensive education to school going teens as well as school drop outs in the communities.

The Department was going to intensify it education and also partner with local media organizations to put out a behavioral change adverts to educate the general public on the effects of teenage pregnancy, she said.
Mrs Kpe said though the Region has for the past three years been consistently ranked second in teenage pregnancy, it was being reduced gradually due to the strategies being put in place.

She said teenage pregnancy prevalence reduced from 15 per cent in 2013 to 14.8 per cent in 2014 and now stands at 14.4 percent.

The Ghana Health Service Report for 2015 revealed that more than 13,000 teenage girls got pregnant in the Central Region in the year under review.

Also, available statistics from the 2015 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICs) and the Ghana Demographic Health Survey Report 2011 put the Region as the fourth highest with child marriage prevalence rate in Ghana.

Speaking during the forum, Regional Coordinator (DSP) George Appiah-Sakyi said various laws that addressed SGBV in the country and urged SGBV victims and their relatives not to hesitate in reporting such cases to the police.

Mr Theophelous Tetteh Tuwor a resource person from Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), speaking on the laws of SGBV and the protection rights of children, urged parents to prioritize the needs of their children above other personal expenditures.

Source: GNA

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