Mr David Allan Paintsil, Central Regional Focal Person for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has called for an intensified education on the need for all Women in Fertility Ages (WIFA) to practice family planning.
He said, the education must reach the core of the population, particularly sexually active teenagers, to help avoid unplanned pregnancies, which could result in early parenthood, truncate their education, and continue the vicious cycle of poverty.
He said the scarcity of social resources has called for a proper population management system which would in a long run address societal ill.
Mr Paintsil was speaking at the UNFPA first quarter meeting with stakeholders on their contribution to projecting the essence of family planning and finding ways to address its short comings in the Region.
The stakeholders include representatives from the Ghana Health Service, Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU) and Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana and the media.
He indicated that the Region remained a hotspot for teen pregnancies in the country and there was the need for all to work together to fight the menace.
Mrs Beatrice Asirifi, Central Regional Public Health Nurse said family planning acceptance rate in the region stood at 38 percent and called for a collaborative effort to enlighten women and girls.
She said there was a serious abuse of Emergency Contraceptives (ECP) and per research it was the highest sold drug in pharmacies and Over The Counter (OTC) drug stores.
“We are worried about this development; abuse of ECPs are very dangerous, so, we are appealing to all to just walk in to access any family planning commodity and be on the safer side,” she advised.
Referring from data collected on teen pregnancies in 2021, Mrs Asirifi said one person below age 10 , 742 between age 10 to 15 and 6,815 girls between 16 to 19 years got pregnant.
Among the girls, she said was one widow, nine divorced, 165 married, 1,534 cohabitating, and 5,849 single.
The data, she said tells that there were still persistent cases of child marriage in the Region adding that drivers, fishermen and farmers were the leading perpetuators.
Detective Sergeant Richard Boadi-Twum of the Central Region office of the DOVVSU underlined the need for stakeholders to continue to sensitize males to help them understand their roles as they were the most perpetuators of sex crimes.
He further appealed to the GHS, PPAG and all other relevant stakeholders to work closely with DOVVSU to ensure that culprits of sex crimes were brought to book.