An Advocacy Manager and Youth Focal Person for Marie Stopes International Ghana, Mr. Godfred Bonnah has revealed that about 14.2 pregnancies in Ghana are found in adolescents who are under 20 years.
The situation, he says is, worrying. According to Mr. Bonnah, the northern region has the lowest prevalence rate of 9 or 10 per cent as compared to other regions, which he says, still poses a challenge to the region.
The growing numbers of pregnant adolescents show that addressing sexual and reproductive health issues is increasingly an issue in Ghana. There are many factors that contribute to early pregnancy among adolescents that has serious consequences for individuals, families, society and national development.
Some of these factors, Mr Bonnah stated, are the high levels of poverty throughout communities, early marriage, gender discrimination based on historic unequal gender roles, the lack of sexual and reproductive health education, lack of access to contraceptive use and discrimination against reproductive rights for young women, among others.
The advocacy manager stressed that as a country, teenage pregnancy is relatively high as compared to more developed countries. He said it is therefore important for the country to stand up and face the issue head on and make a commitment that no girl should drop out of school or be denied her potential due to early pregnancy. He has also stressed the need for parents to be informed about sexual education.
BY:LILIAN D. WALTER