Adolescent Pregnancies In Upper West Surge In First Quarter Of 2024

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Adolescent Pregnancies In Upper West Surge In First Quarter Of
Adolescent Pregnancies In Upper West Surge In First Quarter Of

The Upper West Regional Adolescent Health Focal Person of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Pognaa Rosemary Bangzie has disclosed that adolescent pregnancies in the region have seen a marginal increase in the first quarter of this year.

She made this known at the sidelines of a regional stakeholder engagement on sexual and reproductive health (SRH) education organized by the Informed Choices for Change (IC4C) Youth Groups, a Norsaac-supported coalition of youth networks in the Upper West Region, in Wa over the weekend.

According to her, the region experienced a continuous reduction in the cases of adolescent pregnancies in the last three years but the first quarter of this year has seen a marginal rise.

She indicated that the region recorded 11.0%, 10.7%, and 8.7% teenage pregnancies in the years 2021, 2022, and 2023 respectively.

However, in the first quarter of 2024, she said the statistics showed 9.4% teenage pregnancies for January and February excluding March which is higher than the previous year’s figure, of 8.7%.

Pognaa Bangzie attributed the rise in the cases to the withdrawal of services by some NGO partners and agencies from the region owing to the significant reduction recorded over the years.

“Some of our key partners that were supporting this region and then some of our districts that worked hard to bring these figures down, everybody was highly, highly excited looking into the work we are doing and we are getting results.

“So some of our NGOs, we realized they even withdrew their services looking at where the Upper West Region is standing compared to other regions, they have gone there [other regions] to also support them,” she said.

Pognaa Bangzie noted that the district statistics differ as she said that “some districts are recording as low as 1.0%, while others are recording as high as 17%.”

She, thus, called on the Non-Governmental Organizations and other partners and agencies to not vacate the Upper West Region, and even new ones, to continue to invest in the region.

Meanwhile, Madam Janet Kpan, the Upper Regional Girl Child Education Coordinator of the Ghana Education Service (GES), indicated that adolescent pregnancies among school children have reduced over the period following the COVID-19 pandemic.

She said the education directorate recorded over 100 pregnant girls who sat for the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) in 2022 but in 2023, less than 30 pregnancies were recorded.

She noted that the government’s white paper on the re-enrollment of pregnant girls and child mothers in school coupled with public sensitization activities has led to a reduction in the cases of pregnancies.

“And I can also say that parents who did not know that they are not providing the basic needs of their wards is leading to them to pregnancies, have started doing their bit,” she added.

The stakeholder engagement sought to collate the perspectives of various stakeholders for the smooth implementation of Reproductive Health Education (RHE) guidelines in Ghanaian schools.

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