Forcing pregnant girls to go and stay with men who impregnated them is not a good practice, Ms. Doris Ocansey, the Adolescent Reproductive Health Focal Person for the Tema Metropolitan Health Directorate, has bemoaned.
Ms. Ocansey expressed worry when talking on the “Your Health! Our Collective Responsibility” platform, an initiative of the Ghana News Agency’s Tema Regional Office to promote communication on health-related matters.
She said her outfit had noticed that, when adolescent girls get pregnant in the Tema Metropolis, their parents or guardians then force them to co-habit with the males that impregnated them, irrespective of its consequences.
She said such girls must be given care and encouragement by their families to ensure that they attend antenatal care for safe delivery, adding that they equally need support to enable them to continue their education irrespective of the pregnancy.
She said even though no parent would be happy to have their adolescent girls get pregnant, it was not a justification to give them to the men, who would only continue having sex with them, and the cycle of giving birth would continue after the first one.
Ms. Ocansey said parents must rather begin sex education at an earlier age to empower their girls to make informed decisions to avoid such pregnancies as well as sexually transmitted diseases, instead of waiting for them to happen and then abandoning them to the males.
She said age- and content-appropriate sex education could be initiated right from childhood by letting the child know the proper names of their sex organs and why people must not touch or play with them.
She stated that with time, parents could build upon the information as they grow, adding that this would build their confidence in either abstaining or negotiating for protection.
According to her, stakeholders must not pretend that the younger population was not engaging in sexual activities but rather educate them in the right way to prevent pregnancies and sickness.
“The point is that the girls and boys are having sex; let’s guide them to do it the right way to avoid bad consequences and equip them to make informed decisions,” she added.