Traditional and community leaders have been urged to lead the adolescent health and sexual reproductive education campaign to reduce teenage pregnancies in their communities.
Dr Albert Duah, a Medical Doctor at the Fomena government hospital, who made the call, said reproductive and sexual education in communities could not be left on the shoulders of health workers alone.
It was, therefore, imperative for chiefs, queens and other opinion leaders, who had greater influence and commanded a lot of respect, to actively get involved in the education campaign to reduce unwanted pregnancies among young girls in their areas.
Dr Duah made the call at a day’s workshop on adolescent sexual reproductive health for chiefs and queens from the Adansi and Amansie traditional areas at Fomena in the Adansi North District.
It was organized by the Oheneba Poku Foundation in collaboration with UNICEF to sensitize the traditional leaders on the increasing spate of teenage pregnancies in the area and the need for the traditional leaders to rise and lead the crusade against it.
Dr Duah, who took the time to explain some diseases associated with indiscriminate and multiple sexual activities, said most young adults were infected with several sexually transmitted diseases because of multiple sexual partners.
They also lacked the right education on sex and often felt shy to seek help when they needed it most.
He said Adansi Akrofuom topped the Ashanti region in the recent report on teenage pregnancies and called for active involvement of the chiefs and queens to reduce the trend.
Mrs Charity Nii Quaye, an official from UNICEF, urged the queens to take special interest in the wellbeing of young and adolescent girls in their areas.
They should encourage parents to provide menstrual hygiene products and other basic needs of their young girls to prevent them from falling prey to some unscrupulous men.
Mr Eric Kwaku Kusi Jr, Adansi North District Chief Executive, advised parents to take a keen interest in the daily activities of their adolescent girls and guide them to refrain from engaging in multiple sexual partnerships to help prevent sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancies.
Nana Amoanimaa Dede, the Adansihemaa, urged the queens to show a keen interest in the upbringing of girls in their communities and to encourage them to follow the traditions and acceptable moral values to become responsible adults.