Some selected commercial motor riders popular called ‘Okada riders’ within the Akatsi North District in the Volta Region have participated in a day’s workshop on Reproductive Health Education (RHE), Sexual and Gender -Based Violence (SGBV), and teenage pregnancy.
The seminar, which was held at the Akatsi North District, on the theme “Sustaining RHE through Effective Youth Participation,” focuses on ways of reducing the increasing rate of teenage and some unwanted pregnancies in the area.
Statistics from the Akatsi North District Health Directorate revealed, the district recorded a 20.3 per cent increase in teenage pregnancies in 2021 as compared to 15.9 per cent in 2020, representing 140 pregnancies in 2021 and 94 in 2020, respectively.
Mrs Thywill Eyra Kpe, the Volta Regional Director of the Department of Gender, in an engagement with participants on the types of sexual and gender-based violence, such as forceful engagement of another person in a sexual contact that abuses the person’s sexual integrity, said the youth must desist from such acts “since it is punishable by law.”
Mrs Eyra Kpe further appealed to the participants to serve as ambassadors for the call to end sexual and gender-based violence.
A total of over 50 male participants, together with some young mothers from the district were taken through issues such as the importance of RHE, SGBV forms and causes, the role of health system in SGBV, burden of Sexual and Domestic Violence, the trend of teenage pregnancy in Akatsi North, and others.
She indicated that the practice if not controlled, would put more burden on them, especially the affected female victims where their future aspirations would be in the imbalance.
Mr Yao Semorde, Volta Regional Director of the National Youth Authority (NYA) on his part, revealed the seminar with support from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), would be extended to other Districts in Volta including Central Tongu, North Tongu, Hohoe and others.
He added, the move being executed by the NYA with the Volta Regional Coordinating Council as an implementing partner, was aimed at sensitising the riders on the effects of teenage pregnancy such as bringing financial burden on affected victims.
Akpablie Solomon Doh, a participant from Nudowukope, told the GNA the initiative would go a long way to enlighten them on the dangers associated with the issues discussed.
Datsomor Mawuse, a mother of one from Ave-Dzalele, expressed appreciation to the organisers for the education extended to them.
Participants were drawn from communities such as Ashiagborvi, Ave- Dakpa, Ave- Kpeduhoe, Ave-Dzadzefe, Agormor and others.