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More teenagers getting pregnant: Public health nurse calls for intensified education

BY: Francisca Eshun, Ajumako
Getting an unplanned pregnancy also meant many teenagers were having unprotected sex

The huge numbers of teenage pregnancy in the country is an indication that adolescents are living careless sexual lifestyles.

A public health nurse at the Ajumako Health Directorate, Ms Alice Ansoong, who expressed the concern, said getting an unplanned pregnancy also meant many teenagers were having unprotected sex and were susceptible to other sexually transmitted disease.

Between 2016 and 2020, more than half a million teenagers got pregnant according to data from the Ghana Health Service District Health Information Management Health System (DHIMS).

Ms Ansoong was speaking at a workshop for 60 students from two second cycle institutions on sexual and reproductive health, sexual and gender-based violence at Ajumako in the Central Region.

The programme was organised by the Central Regional National Youth Authority (NYA) with support from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and in collaboration with the Central Regional Coordinating Council.

The participants were from the Bisease Senior High School and Ekumfi TI Ahmadiyya Senior High Schools in the Ajumako-Enyan Essiam districts in the Central Region.
Ms Ansoong educated the students on adolescent sexual reproductive health and urged young people to make safe sexual choices.

Intensify education
She called on all stakeholders to step up education saying it was time to intensify education and dialogue in sexual and reproductive health for young people. According to her, this would help them to understand their sexual make up and enable them make safer choices.
She entreated the students to seek medical advice on their sexuality without shame to enable them to make informed choices.

An officer of the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU) , Richard Twum Boadi , said the youth must be vigilant and have a sense of worth to be able to detect negative relationships and get out of such.

He urged the students not to endure any abusive relationship but to report to appropriate institutions for redress.
Assistant Director at Ajumako Eyan Essiam District Assembly, Jeffrey Ampah, who delivered a speech on behalf of the District Chief Executive, Kwesi Nyarko, for his part said the peer education programme would go a long way to promote peer education among the participants and help build their confidence as ambassadors in their schools and communities to effect change on sexual reproductive health rights.

He commended the National Youth Authority and their collaborative partners for organising the programme to draw attention on the need to provide information to young people and also help them make informed choices that would impact their sexual reproductive health positively.
The Public Relations Officer of the Ekumfi Education Directorate Ekumfi, Samuel Baffoe Aikins, advised the students not to be distracted by vices but to stick to their books and adhere to good values that would help them attain their goals in the future.

Peer educators
A peer educator from Ekumfi TI Ahmadiyya Senior High School, Bismark Acquah, said joining the programme had been a great learning experience to him.
“I am a notorious boy but this mentorship has really changed my life today and I hope I will make an impact on my colleagues as well,” he stated.

Eugenia Ampofoa Sackey Afari, who is also a peer educator from Bisease Senior High school, added that she was energised by the education to support responsible sexual behaviours among her peers.