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Rising teenage pregnancies in Japanese Area blamed on poverty

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Winfred Ofosu, the Japanese Regional Director of GHS

The Japanese Area recorded 8,174 teenage pregnancies as at September 2021, up from 7,976 recorded throughout the identical interval in 2020, the Ghana Well being Service has mentioned.

Of the circumstances, 12.6 per cent symbolize ladies aged 10 to 14 years, whereas 12.2 per cent symbolize ages 15 to 19.

The information present an increment of 12.4 per cent over the 2020 circumstances of teenage pregnancies, Dr Winfred Ofosu, the Japanese Regional Director of GHS, mentioned in an interview with the Ghana Information Company.

He mentioned the increment could possibly be related extra with poverty and lack of parental management slightly than the COVID-19 pandemic.

“A whole lot of dad and mom from poor properties could not be capable of management their ladies very a lot as a result of if the kid wants one thing and you can’t present, the kid will get it elsewhere,” he mentioned.

The shortcoming of youngsters to barter their method out of sexual calls for or advances from males or boys stay a grave problem.

“If you’re a lady and you’re cornered, possibly a boy desires to have intercourse with you, it’s best to be capable of discuss your method out,” Dr Ofosu mentioned.

He mentioned the rise in teenage being pregnant in 2021 was sudden as a result of actions have been again to regular following the COVID-19 outbreak as colleges had been opened, not like in 2020 when the whole lot was at a standstill.

Dr Ofosu referred to as for a second take a look at the minimal age of the sexual consent regulation underneath the Legal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29), which permit youngsters at age 16 to consent to intercourse, including; “The best way the regulation is structured actually can’t assist.”

Analysis reveals that teenage pregnancies carry additional well being dangers to each mom and child, resembling the upper danger for pregnancy-related hypertension, anaemia, preteen labour, and urinary tract infections.

A GHS survey revealed that 555,575 youngsters, aged 10 to 19, acquired pregnant between 2016 and 2020, however there was a 1.2 per cent lower in teenage being pregnant circumstances in Japanese Area from 2017 to 2021.

The circumstances as of January to September in 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021 have been 8,632 (13.4 per cent), 8,012 (12.7 per cent), 8,196 (13 per cent), 7,976 (12.4 per cent) and eight,174 (12.6 per cent), respectively.

Dr Ofosu mentioned efforts being made to scale back the issue included training, parental management and equipping ladies with data on negotiation expertise.

“The best weapon to scale back teenage being pregnant is to maintain ladies at school and likewise improve parental management,” he said.

Once more, ladies and boys have to be educated extensively on sexuality, devoid of legendary beliefs, he mentioned, including: “They have to be precisely knowledgeable about sexuality and never myths.”

Dr Ofosu suggested dad and mom to have a household plan and provides start in response to their monetary power.

“Most ladies who get pregnant come from poor properties, therefore if the system just isn’t checked the cycle of poverty will perpetuate.”

Well being officers have been campaigning for using condoms to supply twin safety from undesirable being pregnant and Sexually Transmitted Infections.

Nonetheless, Dr Ofosu mentioned: “The great factor is to abstain however the place that baby is already sexually lively and can’t abstain and is more likely to get pregnant, and drop out of faculty, then we advise them to take the strategies.”

In the meantime, Mr Emmanuel Acheampong, the Japanese Regional Public Relations Officer of the Ghana Schooling Service (GES), mentioned insurance policies such because the “again to highschool marketing campaign” have been being carried out to maintain college students at school.

The marketing campaign is a programme designed to deliver again kids of school-going age who, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, have stayed dwelling for a very long time and are unwilling to return to highschool.

He mentioned it ensured that each one obstacles that prevented a baby from returning to highschool have been eliminated.

In the course of the early levels of the COVID-19 pandemic the GES carried out programmes resembling digital studying, radio and tv programmes to have interaction college students.

Ms Juliana Abbeyquaye, the Japanese Regional Performing Director, Division of Gender, Ministry of Gender, Youngsters and Social Safety, mentioned the Division organised sensitisation programmes on radio and in colleges to assist educate ladies on intercourse and its penalties.

She related some causes of teenage being pregnant with gender-based violence, peer strain, illiteracy and the inflow of “Okada” riders.

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