A girl child officer of the Ekumfi District Education Directorate, Madam Esther Kwofie, has implored parents to make the personal and social development of their girls a top priority to protect them from adolescent pregnancy.
She said the lack of parental control and interest in the development of young girls had led to most adolescent pregnancy cases in the district and the region at large.
The Central region is ranked third of 16 regions in adolescent pregnancies.
Statistics from the Central Regional Health Directorate indicate that the region recorded 7,558 adolescent pregnancies last year as against 2,743 of the cases recorded in 2020.
Consequently, close to 11,000 girls have dropped out of schools over the past few years, the report indicates.
“Many parents and guardians have failed to provide for the needs of their young girls or even make time for them. They are more concerned about the work they do than the welfare of the girls and so you will see that the least thing will push them to indulge in sex which leads to unwanted pregnancies,” she said.
Madam Kwofie was addressing a stakeholder meeting in Ekumfi to help end adolescent pregnancy organised by Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG) and the United Nation Population fund (UNFPA) as part of their Adolescent Girls Empowerment project.
The project, funded by Global Affairs Canada, seeks to train and educate adolescent girls on their sexual and reproductive health rights to enable them make bold decisions on their sexual and reproductive life.
The girl child officer urged all parents to spend more time with their children and monitor their development to know their problems.
“You have to communicate with them, know their physical needs, know their emotional needs and monitor them for any changes in their behaviour to keep them away from this canker. We need to end it and that will take all of us to play our roles,” she said.
For her part, Madam Sarah Asabea Asiedu of the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service suggested that boys and men must also be educated and empowered on the subject since they were the perpetrators.
She also pledged the commitment of DOVVSU to partner PPAG to fight gender-based violence in the district.
Madam Rebecca Kporxa, PPAG field officer, indicated that accurate sexual and reproductive health education and services for the youth would encourage them to make good choices for their future.