The Ada West District in the Greater Accra Region recorded 357 teenage pregnancy cases and seven cases of abortion in 2021.
The pregnancies were among girls between 10 and 19 years.
In 2020, 317 cases of teenage pregnancy and 18 cases of abortion were recorded in the district as against 372 pregnancies and 11 cases of abortion in 2019.
The figures were in a press release issued after a stakeholders’ meeting, which coincided with the launch of a project aimed at improving girls’ access to quality education and sexual reproductive health services.
A copy of the release signed by Mrs Celestina Andoh, the Executive Director of Indigenous Women Empowerment Network (IWEN Ghana), a non-governmental organization, mentioned lack of information on sexual reproductive health as the major cause of teenage pregnancy in the district.
It explained teenage pregnancy was impeding girl-child education in the district as many girls who got pregnant dropped out of school.
“Although the Education Policy allows girls to return to school after delivery, many of the girls do not go back to school,” the release stated.
To control teenage pregnancy and reverse the trend, IWEN Ghana, an indigenous women’s rights organisation has launched the six months project to empower girls with sex education.
Plan International and Global Affairs Canada, international NGOs, are funding the advocacy project, which would also help girls, particularly, those with disabilities to realise their full potential.
“According to the stakeholders, the district has the highest teenage pregnancy cases in the Greater Accra Region which need to be tackled with the seriousness it deserves,” it said.
The release explained gender imbalances, socio-cultural attitudes on sexuality and poverty had increased the vulnerability of girls to sexual abuse and HIV and AIDS infections in the area.
“Gender-based violence is mostly perpetrated by boys and men and increasing awareness of gender-based violence will promote attitudinal change”, it stated.
Under the project, the release said men and boys knowledgeable on gender-based violence would be identified and trained as champions of change and they would be engaged to empower their peers on issues of sexual violence against girls as well as sexual reproductive health.
“The District Assembly is doing everything possible to make education more accessible to girls to improve access to sexual and reproductive health services,” the release quoted Stella Kpondo, the Ada West District Planning officer.
She, therefore, called for support from all stakeholders to improve girls’ retention rate in schools in the district.