Ms. Yvonne Wonchua, Gender Desk Officer, Upper East Coordinating Council, has stated that parental neglect was a major cause of unplanned pregnancies among adolescent girls.
She noted that financial constraints had caused many parents to shirk their responsibilities, compelling adolescent girls to fall prey to molesters because of economic hardship.
Ms. Wonchua made this observation at the Bi-annual tracking meeting on the implementation of the Adolescent Pregnancy Strategy organised by the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection through the Department of Gender, on Thursday, in Accra.
The strategy is aimed at empowering adolescents to prevent early and unplanned pregnancies with the vision of realizing their full potential in the development process in Ghana.
As part of efforts to achieve these goals, the project, which is currently in final phase, is being monitored to determine the gains made, successes, challenges, and the way forward.
Ms. Wonchua expressed worry that parents were not bonding well with their children to educate them on their Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) but left them to learn about their sexuality from peers.
“Engaging with some young ones, I realized that children who receive SRH information from their parents were more empowered and also very confident about themselves than those who receive it from school, either teachers or peers did not have enough and most of what their peers tell them are usually misinformation”.
She therefore advocated for continuous education to enable parents play a responsible role in the upbringing of their children, especially in sexual and reproductive health.
Professor Steven Owusu Kwankye, Lecturer, Regional Institute for Population Studies, University of Ghana, was impressed that the AHC continued to make a headway, as young people could ask all necessary questions, in their quest to prevent unplanned pregnancies.
“At least interacting with those who had them will tell you that it has increased patronage and the young people come there in their numbers. It has helped young people in Tamale metropolitan area to ask various questions relation to their sexual reproductive health.”
He noted that creating the enabling environment for them to meet people who understood their needs was helpful in getting proper information on their sexual life.