Alcoholism is contributing to the upsurge in teenage pregnancy in the Tano North Municipality, Mrs Mufty Tampuri, the Municipal Health Promotion Officer, has said.
She said the situation was bad as many girls took in excessive alcohol and engaged in promiscuous lifestyles.
At a forum held at Dauyaw-Nkwanta, Mrs Tampuri said urgent attention and concerted efforts were required from teachers, traditional authorities, and parents among others to bring the situation under control.
The Ministry of Gender and Social Protection organised the forum, attended by pupils and students from the various basic and senior high schools in the Municipality.
It aims at sensitising them on issues relating to child rights, gender and social protection, as well as sexual reproductive healthcare.
Mrs Tampuri said teenage pregnancy cases jumped from 386 in 2016 to 404 in 2017, 437 in 2018 and 306 as at August 2019.
She expressed regret over the level of irresponsible parenting in the Municipality, which was affecting the upbringing and development of most of the adolescent girls.
Mrs Ruth Nyarkoaa, an Official at the Department of Children, emphasized that abstinence remained the best option for girls, and advised those who could not control their sexual desires to go for family planning.
However, she told the students that they could easily acquire HIV and other Sexually Transmitted Infections if they engaged in unprotected sex.
Mrs Freda Prempeh, the Deputy Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, advised the girls to avoid pre-marital sex and get married to their books to achieve success in life.
She told them that education remained the surest legacy the government could bequeath the younger generation hence the implementation of the free SHS programme.
Mrs Prempeh, also the Member of Parliament for Tano North, advised teachers to redouble their efforts to help improve on the standard of education in the Municipality.