Inability to provide needs of adolescent girls can result in Teenage pregnancy

teenage pregnancy
Teenage pregnancy

Ms Esther Mbilla, the Bongo District Adolescent Health Coordinator says the inability of parents to provide the basic needs of their adolescent children, is one of the major causes of teenage pregnancy and Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV).

She said Teenage pregnancy was on the rise in the Upper East Region and noted that when parents were unable to provide their adolescent wards especially girls the required needs such as shelter, food and sanitary pads, they easily fell prey to men.

Ms Mbilla who doubles as the Public Health Nurse at the Bongo Health Directorate urged parents to endeavour to cater for their female children to help fight the menace of teenage pregnancy and SGBV.

Speaking at a stakeholders’ engagement by the Upper East Regional Directorate of the Department of Gender aimed at addressing the problems confronting adolescents and their development, Ms Mbilla said it was part of the implementation of a three-year project sponsored by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Global Affairs Canada.

It attracted stakeholders including; men groups, girls’ groups’ and boys’ groups who were the champions of fighting issues relating to Adolescents and SGBV in their respective communities in the Bongo District

She said parents had the influence on the growth and development of their children and neglecting that could expose them to vices such as watching pornographic materials and to unplanned pregnancies.

“Most of the pornographic films are shown by the media from 2100 hours onwards and responsible parents should monitor to ensure that their children do not watch such films since it will have the tendency to have dire consequence on the growth and development of the adolescents”.

Ms Mbilla impressed on parents not to ignore their children especially girls who were in the adolescent age, but providing them with Sexual Reproductive Health Education.

Mrs Georgina Aberese-Ako, the Acting Regional Director of the Department of Children, one of the facilitators, lamented instances where many parents failed to perform their parental responsibilities by not providing basic needs like menstrual pads to their daughters making them go into transactional sex leading to pregnancies and other sexual transmitted diseases.

Mr James Twene, the Acting Regional Director of the Department of Gender, said his outfit with support from UNFPA had also trained men, boys, girls, and parents as ambassadors to help address the challenges confronting adolescents with regards to access to sexual reproductive health education and prevention of SGBV.

Ms Yvonne Wonchua, the Regional Focal Person of UNFPA, impressed upon the stakeholders to share the knowledge acquired at the forum with the members of their communities to help fight the phenomenon.

The participants were taken through topics including; GBV, Gender concepts and Social Reproductive Health issues and the impact of child marriages.

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