The Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG), a non-governmental organisation, has called on girls to avoid early sex to enhance their health and ability to achieve their dreams.
Mrs Wilhemina Aklaku, the President of PPAG, made the call during this year’s International Day of the Girl Child celebration.
She said early sexual intercourse was dangerous and affected the well-being of girls, hence the need to avoid it.
The event, held in Tamale, brought together young girls in the Metropolis and its environs, who were inspired by various mentors to rediscover themselves and how to attain their potentials.
The PPAG organised the event as part of the Healthy Cities for Adolescents (HCA) project being implemented by the Regional Institute of Population Studies of the University of Ghana, in collaboration with the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly and PPAG among other partners.
It was supported by the Botnar Foundation. The HCA project seeks to build a multi-stakeholder Consortium with capacity to use evidence-based information for strategic programming that promotes adolescent health and general well-being towards realising the Sustainable Development Goals.
The International Day of the Girl Child is marked globally on October 11 to support more opportunities for girls and increase awareness of gender inequality they face, worldwide, based on their gender.
This year’s event was on the theme: “My Voice, Our Equal Future”.
Mrs Aklaku said it was important for young girls to live well to ensure a good future adding; “We want our children to grow systematically for them to know that life is not just what you see other people doing but you have to sit down and learn the way of life that will be beneficial to you and your family.”
Mrs Matilda Ayamga, the Northern Ghana Focal Person of PPAG, encouraged the girls to take charge of their lives and use the opportunities available to achieve their potentials.
“You have what it takes to be who you want to be. Take charge of your own lives as the enabling environment is created for you to achieve your potentials.”
Mrs Clara Lamisi Weobong, the Field Programme Officer on the HCA Project in Tamale, said adolescents still faced challenges related to sexual and reproductive health.
She called on the authorities; traditional and political, to ensure that issues of retention of adolescents in school, through prevention of teenage pregnancy and early marriage, were key on their agenda for discussion.
“We are called to amplify the voices of adolescent girls and put their needs at the forefront of laws, policies and practices. We must support girls by giving them access to tools they need to shape their own destinies,” Mrs Weobong said.
She inspired young girls to make use of their creative power and energies and be passionate about achieving their dreams to make a difference in their lives and that of others.