Scores of adolescents in Tema have developed the penchant for avoiding the use of family planning as a form of protection against early pregnancy.
Ghana News Agency visits to various health facilities in the Metropolis revealed that only one adolescent patronized their services as against the 1,585 and 574 recorded for 2019 and 2018 respectively.
The single patron was seen at Manhean, while the other sub-metros all recorded no cases of family planning even though 397 were counselled on it.
Mrs Grace Eddy Amewu, Adolescent Health Focal Person for the Tema Metropolitan Health Directorate, who disclosed this to the Ghana News Agency on Tuesday in an interview at Tema said the data collection was accurate, and believed a number of the adolescents had accepted the message of abstinence or might have used other means to protect themselves.
She said it could also be attributed to the adolescent abstaining from sexual activities for fear of contracting COVID-19 adding, that “because they were home with both parents, there was that kind of close monitoring, and the fear of being infected with the virus might have scared them away from close relationships and sexual activities”.
She disclosed that during the period, 51 abortion cases were recorded in the metropolis, a decline from the 85 and 74 documented for 2019 and 2018 respectively.
Adolescent pregnancy she noted dropped from 511 in 2019 to 502 in 2020 even though people were worried the schools closed down during the period would lead to an increase.
Twenty-two HIV/AIDS cases were recorded among the adolescents in the year 2020, an improvement on 2019 figure of 27 infections.
Mrs Amewu said unfortunately, the directorate recorded one maternal death in 2020 just as 2019.
On the effect of COVID-19 on activities of the adolescent clubs in schools in Tema as well as the various adolescent-friendly centres, she said no activity or sensitisation was organised since 2020 March, due to the pandemic and its associated restrictions.