Teenage pregnancy high in Upper East communities

Some sub-municipality zones of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) in the Bolgatanga Municipality in the Upper East Region have recorded high teenage pregnancies.

The Sirigu Health facility recorded 25.7 per cent while the Sumbrungu Health Centre recorded 22 per cent of teenage pregnancies.

 A pharmacist at the Municipal Health Directorate, Mr Edmund Nellic Nyanwura, said this at a two-day meeting on child protection and integrated social services delivery among stakeholders.

The meeting, which was organised by the Department of Social Welfare and Community Development in collaboration with the Local Government Service on integrated social services delivery (ISSD), was also meant to enable stakeholders to discuss gaps in service delivery, key linkages and best practices.

It was attended by traditional leaders, the domestic violence and victims support unit of the Ghana Police Service, Ghana Health Service (GHS), Immigration Service, GES and CSOs.

Key linkages

In a presentation on key linkages of health and child protection, Mr Nyanwura said the Bolgatanga Municipality recorded 11 per cent of teenage pregnancies in 2020, which had increased to 12 per cent in the first half of the year 2021.

That, he said, was too high and called for a collaborative effort to change the trend.

He said many of those who registered for antennal services were below 20 years, and though some of the teenagers might have married at 18 years, “it is better for a mother to be more than 20 years to have a safe delivery”.

On what should be done, he reiterated the need to take care of the unmet needs of young women and more specifically make family planning services more accessible to them.

Social services

The Paramount Chief of the Nangodi Traditional Area, Nangonaab Nafariyoung Kosom Yelzoya Asaga II, advised providers of social services to empower girls and make access to contraceptives easier.

“Abortion tendencies come in when pregnant girls are intimidated at home,“ he stressed and called for young girls to be empowered to access contraceptives and not to shy away from buying them.

The Municipal Director of the Department of Social Welfare, Ms Mercy Pwavra, explained the objective of the workshop and stated that institutions promoting child protection issues worked in isolation and as such were not fully meeting the needs of the vulnerable.

She, therefore, urged welfare organisations to work together to protect the interest of the vulnerable.