PPAG empowers teenage mothers and pregnant girls at Bongo

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The Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG) has provided sexual and reproductive health rights information to adolescent pregnant girls and teenage mothers in selected communities in the Bongo District of the Upper East Region.

The move is to make available accurate knowledge and information that would empower pregnant girls and teenage mothers to make informed decisions to prevent unplanned pregnancies.

The Girls Empowerment Project, under the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), with financial support from the Global Affairs Canada, brought together adolescent pregnant girls and teenage mothers from six communities in the district, Anafobisi, Zorko, Feo, Soe, Sagbo and Apuwongo.

The beneficiary girls were supported with hygiene materials such as bars of key soap, detergents and baby diapers.
Mr Martin Anyoka, Field Assistant UNFPA, said the project sought to empower the girls to take care of their pregnancies and babies as well as themselves for improved wellbeing.

It was also to encourage the girls to return to school or learn a trade to empower themselves economically.
He explained that the project would provide the needed sexual and reproductive health education to the girls to ensure they made the right choices regarding their sexual life to prevent unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.

Mr Anyoka observed that “teenage pregnancy has been one of the leading causes of low girl-child education in the district and so when the girls are empowered with the requisite knowledge and information, it would prevent them from getting pregnant and dropping out of school.”

This, he said, would help curb the rising teenage pregnancy cases in the area and contribute to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Mr Anyoka said as part of providing financial empowerment to the girls, the project would be implementing a livelihood training project and encouraged the girls to take advantage of the project to become financially independent and avoid engaging in transactional sex.

Madam Margaret Annovunga, a Midwife at Feo Health Centre, said adolescent girls, who were either pregnant or nursing mothers, needed to attend Antenatal and postnatal care to ensure the safety of mothers and babies.

The Midwife, who explained the different types of family planning services to the girls, noted that abstinence was the best solution to teenage pregnancy but urged those who could not abstain to seek advice on proper family planning services and contraceptives to patronise.

The girls expressed gratitude to PPAG, UNFPA and Global Affairs Canada for the enlightenment, adding it had increased their knowledge on sexual lives.

Ms Rosemary Akurugu, a beneficiary, said she was unaware of the various options in the provision of the family planning services and noted that the engagement had boosted her confidence to stand for her right, especially her sexual right.

Ms Vida Atuah, another beneficiary, said the education had empowered her to return to school and expressed the hope that she would cope with the stigma that might come with it.

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