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Teenage prostitution is on the ascendancy in Tumu, in the Sissala East District of the Upper West Region, as some basic school girls have formed peer groups, and are engaging in the illicit act.

The unfortunate practice, which was revealed by a study conducted by the Social Initiative for Literacy and Development Programme (SILDEP), said some of the prostitution groups go by names such as "Sexy Vampires:", Awilo" and "Kampala", with operative slogans like "it is our business, and men shall suffer.

According to the research, drivers of heavy duty vehicles who come to Tumu, and those transiting to Burknia Faso, are the main patrons of the teenage prostitution service.

The Chief Executive Officer of SILDEP, Mr. Moses Damani Luri, revealed this during the celebration of the International Woman's Day at Gwollu, in the Sissala West District of the Upper West Region.

He said the study revealed four major factors - culture, attitude, poverty and information gap, and illiteracy, as being responsible for the practice.

Mr. Luri, therefore, called on the government to intensify social intervention programmes, including the "one district, one factory," "one village, one dam" the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme, Ghana Social Opportunities Project (GSOP), family planning, civic education, and law enforcement among other interventions, to mitigate the effects of these social vices.

He also called on the security services, chiefs and opinion leaders in the area to rise up and act, in order to nib the practice in the bud.

The CEO of SILDEP said the International Women 's Day was celebrated to commemorate the contributions of gallant women to the advancement of society across the world.

"Therefore, tackling gender-based violence is as strategic way to advance women's rights and empowerment in several areas, ranging from health, education, work, freedom from violence, and participation in public life," he said.

He said it was for this reason that SILDEP was implementing the Girls Advocacy Alliance (GAA) project, in collaboration with Plan International Ghana, in the upper west region to sensitize girls and other stakeholders to become conscious of the rights of the girls child and protect them.

He said the five-year project (2016-2020), despite its regional focus, had been working extensively in the Wa West , Sissala East and Sissala West District, because of the peculiar issues the three districts presented.

A staff nurse and HIV counselor at the Gwollu hospital, Mr. Alidu Fuo, who sensitized the women on HIV and AIDS, in 2016, no HIVcase was recorded during antenatal care services at the hospital.

He noted, however, that in march 2016, nine HIV cases comprising three males and six females from the ages of 19 to 48, were recorded, adding that HIV/AIDS was, therefore, with them, hence the need for all to exercise sexual responsibility.

Source: The Chronicle 

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