Pregnancy among girls under 14 years are assuming alarming proportions in the Brong-Ahafo Region, statistics from the Regional Health Directorate has revealed.
According to recorded figures, out of the 12,981 cases of teenage pregnancies recorded in the Region in 2014, 462 of them were under 14 years. In 2013, out of the 488 recorded cases, 18 of them were within the same age group.
Mr. Raphael Godlove Ahenu, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Global Media Foundation (GLOMEF), an anti-corruption, health and media advocacy Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), announced this on Monday.
He was addressing school children and community members at separate fora on Sexual Reproductive Health organized by his outfit with support from Safe Abortion Action Fund (SAAF) at Atuahenekrom, Antwikrom and Atronie in the Sunyani Municipality.
Mr. Ahenu expressed concern that despite intensified education on sexual reproductive health, teenage pregnancy continued to increase in the Region, and, therefore, called on civil society organizations to redirect attention and support in bringing the situation under control.
Mrs. Esther Munufie, a Public Health Nurse and tutor at the Ntotroso College of Nursing, noted that most girls in rural communities were having their first menstruation at the tender age of 10.
She noted with regret that some of them got pregnant without knowing, a situation which was becoming a major challenge in many of the local communities.
Mrs. Munufie advised parents and authorities of basic educational institutions not to deny their adolescent girl-children sex education because many of them could not control their sexual desires.
Nana Kwasi Dwomo, the Kurontihene of Atuahenekrom, mentioned poor parental control, child neglect and poverty as some of the immediate causes of teenage pregnancy in the area, and commended the NGO for its outreach programmes in deprived communities.
Mr. Victor Fosu Boamah, Operations Director of GLOMEF, explained that the forum was in line with a three-year project, dubbed: “Advocating for Young People Access to Safe Abortion and Contraceptive Services in Brong-Ahafo”, which is being implemented by the NGO with support from SAAF.