Step up efforts to reduce adolescent pregnancies — Eyra Kpe

BY: Gilbert Mawuli Agbey
Step up efforts to reduce adolescent pregnancies — Eyra Kpe
Step up efforts to reduce adolescent pregnancies — Eyra Kpe

The Central Regional Director of the Department of Gender , Mrs Thywill Eyra Kpe, has called for efforts to reduce adolescent pregnancies and child marriages in the region.

Addressing a durbar to climax this year’s International Day of the Girl Child, in Winneba in the Effutu Municipality, she said ‘you will agree with me that having over 11,000 young girls getting pregnant in a small region like ours in a year is very alarming’.

The celebration which was on the theme: ‘Eradicating child marriage and teenage pregnancy: A time to press for change’, was organised by CAMA in collaboration with the Department of Gender in the Central Region. CAMA, meaning CAMFED Alumini is an association of young girls who are beneficiaries of educational scholarship packages provided by the Campaign for Female Education (CAMFED), an international non-profit making organisation.

Career development

She explained that the high rate of pregnancy cases among adolescents was strongly linked to the increasing numbers of child marriages and cohabitation in the region, stressing that, teenage mothers, were compelled to cohabit with men who impregnated them, depriving them of their right to formal education and future career development.

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Mrs Eyra Kpe stated that data collected from 5,112 pregnant teenagers in the region by the Ghana Health Service (GHS) between July and December 2016 also indicated that 23.8 percent of the girls aged 13-19 were cohabiting with their male partners, while 5.3 percent were married.

She added that when a girl got pregnant at an early age, it tended to have health, physical and psychological consequences for the girls, and also cut their education short, indicating that, to break this chain therefore required commitment, discipline and determination on the part of every young girl to excel in life.

She noted that the increasing cases of pregnancies involving adolescent girls, should be addressed with all the seriousness it deserved, to safeguard the welbeing of both the girls and those who impregnated them.

Training programmes

The Central Regional CAMA Chairperson, Ms Christiana Efuwa Sam, in a report mentioned that many young women have been equipped with entrepreneurial skills in the region, as a step to eradicate teenage pregnancy in the region.

She added that the beneficiary young women were trained in making liquid soap, beads, jewelry and tye and dye fabrics, among others, to economically empower young girls to engage in profitable ventures.

She called on parents not to abandon their teenage daughters when they are pregnant, rather, they should help them to continue with their education and normal lives, after childbirth.