The Northern Regional Director of the National Population Council(NPC), Chief Bagzaa Naa Alhassan Issahaku Amadu has bemoaned the increasing parental neglect and increasing teenage pregnancies in the region.
Chief Amadu also lamented the growing phenomenon, he called 'serial monogamy', where men marry and divorce. The practice, he said, results in sexual circuiting.
On the issue of polygamy, he disclosed that the 1998 Ghana Demographic and health survey recorded 52 per cent of the practice in the northern region. However, the figures reduced drastically to 23% in 2008. But serial monogamy continued with its dire consequences for those engaged in the practice.
Chief Amadu spoke to Zaa News during the celebration of International Day of the Girl Child organized by Northern Section Action on Awareness Center (NORSAAC) Young Urban women.
The United Nations General Assembly on 19 December 2011 set aside 11th October each year as International Day of the Girl Child. The day promotes girls' human rights, highlights gender inequalities that remain between girls and boys as well as addresses the various forms of discriminations and abuse every day across the world.
Over 800 young girls aged 15-25 from various senior high schools in Tamale including young female parliamentarians participated in the celebration which took place at Tutingli.
The chief cautioned the youth to know about their reproductive health status, saying sexual reproductive health is very important in the development of both young boys and girls. Sex education, he said, is lacking at the home level, thereby making the young ones unaware of their sexual functions.
The mere mention of sex, Chief Amadu said, is an abomination to some people. But this shouldn't be the case, he emphasized. He further stated that reproductive freedom is a freedom from which all other freedoms emerged and therefore the need for parents to educate their children properly on it.
Parenting, according to him, is very loose and he blamed fathers whose priority, he said, it was to marry many wives and give birth without caring for the children. Chief Amadu said that in a study done in schools about 70% of pupils said their mothers were primarily responsible for their education contrary to customs and traditions of the north that men are in charge of households.
He asserted that safe motherhood is very important in the reproductive health system and advised the public to ensure responsible parenting. Chief Amadu commended NORSAAC for establishing well equipped Adolescent Corners in six districts in the region and expressed the hope that the youth will make good use of the corners.
At the celebration, girls were taken through the dangers of teenage pregnancy, child marriage, access to sexual and reproductive health services, abuse of girls' rights and educational attainment of the girl child by officials from CHRAJ, child rights activities and the department of social welfare. This year's celebration was on the theme;"The power of the adolescent girl: vision for 2030".