Health officials are calling for concerted efforts to sustain the fight against high teenage pregnancies being recorded in communities around the Mampong Municipality of the Ashanti Region.
Reports by health officials state that the area recorded 170 teenage pregnancy cases in 2020, with many more undocumented or unreported cases yet to be accounted for.
Affected victims were aged between 15 and 19, according to a Medical Superintendent of the Mampong Government Hospital, Dr Kwasi Gyimah.
Speaking with journalists on the sidelines of an annual review performance organised by the Ghana Health Service, Dr Gyimah described the situation as alarming adding that intensified education can reverse the trend.
“Going forward we will intensify education among the youth because these are young people who are already sexually exposed by the time they get to school. Since the cases are at an alarming rate we will be rolling out several interventions to stem the tide”, the Medical Superintendent said.
“I will however plead with various stakeholders especially school heads and the Municipal Assembly in particular to partner us to educate these young girls on the dangers of teenage pregnancy”, he added.
A/R highest with over 1,000 teenage pregnancies – GES
Many have attributed the spike in teenage pregnancy among girls to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic which forced government to shutdown schools as part of measures to prevent the spread of the virus.
The development exposed many young girls who were at a point sexually abused while at home.
In a recent report by the Ghana Education Service (GES), the Ashanti Region led teenage pregnancy cases in Ghana with over 1,000 cases in one year.
The statistics spans from 2018 to 2019 with Greater Accra following with some 404 cases.
According to the Ashanti Regional Girl Child Coordinator of GES, Hannah Amponsah, “there were 128 cases in the upper primaries, while JHS recorded 783 and 310 cases in the senior high schools with a cumulative figure of 1,228 female teenage pregnancy cases in the Ashanti Region”.
Speaking on Kumasi-based Akoma FM, Mrs Hannah Amponsah explained that the situation is likely to double as the figures of 2020 and 2021 are being compiled.
“[My fear] is that with the Covid-19 wave and its attendant lockdown resulting in total shut down of schools, teenage pregnancies among students may surge because the children have stayed home for almost 11 months. Even when the JHS leavers were sitting for their [BECE] last year, there were a number of pregnant girls who were identified so I’m sure the 2020 statistics will increase as compared to previous years.”
Mrs. Hannah Amponsah also advised parents to ensure their pregnant wards do not drop out of school, encouraging them to urge their girls to continue their school even after giving birth to ensure their goals and aims in life are achieved.
Source: Daily Mail GH