Teenage pregnancy is becoming a disturbing menace in Ghana as of recent. Based on the statistics from the Ghana Health Service, 75 000 teenagers between the ages of 15-19 got pregnant in 2014, with the central region having the highest proportion.
Members of Parliament have expressed great concern about the rising cases of teenage pregnancies and associated problems in the country after reports said that the phenomenon is on the increase in many of the regions especially in the Central Region. In response to this, the women’s group in parliament, who expressed concern about the development, called for a serious effort by all stakeholders to tackle this disturbing social menace.
IPAS Ghana, an NGO also disclosed to everyone’s amazement that girls at the very young ages of 9-10 in some parts of Ghana intentionally get pregnant in the bid to test their fertility, and after all, they’ll abort the pregnancy with the help of their peers who usually raise funds for that. Some factors considered to have led to this alarming increase include poverty, the quest for freedom, unhealthy civilization(misuse of the IT), poor parental care, increased waywardness and disobedience on the part of teenagers, etc.
The central region which was reported to be the most affected area recorded about 14 000 teenage pregnancies last year. Comparing this figure with the last ones recorded, it shows that this anti social behavior has gone up by 64%. This ugly development has greatly affected the BECE in the sense that a lot of teenagers are not always able to sit for this exam as a result of pregnancy. However, a lot of them defy all shame and sit for the exams with the pregnancy. In this year’s BECE, a total of 79 pregnant candidates and 5 nursing mothers participated in the exam in the Upper East Region of Ghana.
Member of Parliament for Abirem in the Central Region, Esther Obeng Dapaah, said they will soon hold meetings with the queen mothers to discuss the issues and find solutions to them.
Immediately, we will call a meeting with the queen mothers so we share ideas. They will tell us what the problems are then we will be able to bring them to the house. In the Central Region like I said, we had 38 teenagers who were pregnant whiles they were writing the just ended BECE. And adding from 2012 to 2015, we had about 35,000 teenagers who got pregnant and that is very high” she bemoaned.
The leader of the women’s group in parliament, Mary Salifu Boforo, who is the MP for the Savelugu constituency, said a joint effort is needed to help in tackling the menace.
When you look at this teenage pregnancy, it is like a culture now everywhere; so we have to come together and raise the issue with one voice”.
In conclusion, the Members of the Parliament are calling on one and all for a collaborated effort to curb this problem which has gotten to a worrisome stage. The parents are being called upon to play their part, the government also have a lot to do towards eradicating poverty at all levels in society, putting in place things that will improve the economic conditions of her citizens and also prosecuting men who are culprits of this evil deed. Other bodies such as schools, religious organisations and NGO’s are also employed to make efforts in sensitizing the teenagers in this area to help curb the incidence.