GHS ensuring victims of teenage pregnancy return to school after delivery

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Teenage Pregnancy workshop
Teenage Pregnancy workshop

Pognaa Rosemary Bangzie, the Upper West Regional Focal Person on Adolescent Health Services, has indicated that the Regional Health Directorate has put in place measures to curb teenage pregnancy in the to encourage victims to return to school after delivery.

She said girls below 20 formed 11.9 per cent of recorded pregnancies in the region in 2020, which was a little lower than the 13.5 per cent and 13.8 per cent in 2019 and 2018 respectively.

Pognaa Bangzie said this in a presentation on behalf of the Upper Regional Director of Health Services, Dr. Damien Punguyire to the Upper West Regional Youth Parliament in Wa.

The Parliament had invited the Health Director to give a report on the measures put in place by his outfit towards getting teenage mothers back to school.

“When girls become pregnant during this period, they become ill prepared mentally and emotionally to give birth, some may resort to unsafe abortion practices that may be harmful to their health.

“They may drop out from school resulting in lack of skills for future employment and therefore pushed to the perpetual cycle of poverty”, Pognaa Bangzie explained.
She added that some of the victims of teenage pregnancy were forced into early marriage, which was inimical to their holistic development.

Pognaa Bangzie said as part of efforts by the GHS to curb the menace, they were collaborating with other stakeholders including Plan International Ghana to execute some interventions at the community level.

She identified such interventions to include; formation of 30 in-school adolescent health clubs in 30 basic schools in seven districts and municipalities and 10 out-of-school clubs in five districts in the region with high cases of teenage pregnancy including the Wa West District.

According to her, the GHS was also implementing the “Safety Net” programme in five districts with high cases of teenage pregnancy to help reduce the issue of child marriage and to promote girl child education in the region.

Mr Amankona Ampofo, the Upper West Regional Director of the National Youth Authority, noted that education played a crucial role in protecting women’s rights, preventing gender-based violence and empowering the girl child through information and self-confidence.

He reiterated the need to bridge the inequalities gap between boys saying, “The challenge of getting our teenage mothers back to school, to me, is a collective responsibility”.

Mr Sidick Marizuk, the Majority Leader of the Parliament said the high rate of teenage pregnancy was a source of worry and that it robbed the girl child of her right to education and personal development.

He stressed the importance of girl child education to the development of the nation and emphasized the need for concerted effort to end the canker of teenage pregnancy.

Representatives from the Ghana Police Service, Ghana National Fire Service and the Network for Young Women Empowerment also gave solidarity messages on the motion under consideration.

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