Children in Ho abuse emergency contraceptive tablets
The Ho Municipal Directorate of Health Services has expressed concern over the alarming trend of girls , as young as 10 and 12 years old abusing emergency contraceptive pills in the Ho Municipality.
Senior Staff Nurse Cynthia Danku, in charge of HIV/AIDS at the Family Health Unit of the directorate, revealed that these children were purchasing the pills without prescription and using them after unprotected sexual activities, without following the appropriate dosage instructions.
This situation has made it challenging to obtain accurate statistics on the number of children involved in this behaviour due to the unrestricted access to the pills.
Ms Danku stated that the dangers associated with this practice includes infertility and ovarian cancer .
In an interview with The Mirror, Ms Danku explained that emergency contraceptives are intended for rape victims to prevent pregnancy and are not meant for use by children who should not be engaging in sexual activities.
According to her, individuals who wanted to prevent unwanted pregnancies must consider family planning methods which are available at various health facilities.
“However, it is better and safer for children to avoid sex,” she cautioned.
Ms Danku also threw light on the HIV situation in the municipality and the wider Volta Region, explaining that out of the 16,990 people living with HIV in the region, 2,007 were in the Ho Municipality alone.
Among them are 1,268 females, 603 males and 136 children who include those in the 0–14-year group as well,” she added.
She stressed the importance of raising awareness about safe sexual practices, particularly among young people, given the high number of reported cases of HIV.
To address this issue, Ms Danku said there was the need to continue and intensify sex education efforts within the community, focusing especially on children.
“It is crucial for everyone to remain vigilant in addressing these concerning trends.”