The Member of Parliament for the Kpando Constituency, Mrs Della Sowah, has called on the media to redirect their emphasis on Valentine’s Day celebrations on quality entertainment programmes.
She stressed the need for both the electronic and print media to increase censorship of programmes during Valentine’s Day festivities as a demonstration of love for the country and its rich values.
Mrs Sowah made the call in a statement she made on the floor of Parliament Thursday to commemorate Valentine’s Day.
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She observed that by hyping up the day, the media, as well as entertainment and allied industries, created a boost in economic activities in the country, there were, however, some down sides to it.
According to her, a cursory look at the results of a study she conducted on teenage mothers in her constituency revealed an interesting correlation between teenage births that happened nine months or so after Valentine's Day.
She said even in deprived communities which were yet to be connected to the national grid, teenage mothers knew about Valentine's Day and related it to expression of love between the opposite sexes.
This, she said, demonstrated the power of the media.
“The case which impacted me to do this study is that of a 12-year-old girl from a very poor background who took a valentine lover in school and became pregnant after a single sexual act.
“Her parents being unable to bear the situation sent her to live with the boy responsible. They were too poor to give her proper care. She suffered hunger and discomfort throughout the entire nine months period,” Mrs Sowah stated, adding “when she finally gave birth, she had no more strength left in her to sustain her life; she died”.
She said the media had highlighted and glamourised love relationship in soap operas in such a way that teenagers unfortunately sometimes choose role models from these movies, resulting in the tainting of the moral fabric of society, pointing out that “what we thought was bizarre 20 years ago is no big deal now because of the media.”
Mrs Sowah said the impact of teenage pregnancy on her constituency and indeed the nation cannot be over emphasised, adding ”with the media constantly bombarding teenagers with sexual messages, those in poorer communities, it appears, are initiated into sex at a slightly younger age and early pregnancy is inevitable.
“Multiple partners are sometimes glamourised, putting people at the risk of HIV AIDS and other Sexually Transmitted Diseases,” she emphasised.
She, therefore, called on the media and other stakeholders to be circumspect in their reportage, especially where relationships were concerned.
“Our ears and eyes are the gates to our souls, and what we watch, listen to and associate with is constantly feeding us. Like the saying goes, garbage in garbage out,” she added.
In his contribution, the MP for Ablekuma North, Mr Joe Appiah observed that hotels and guest houses were always fully booked and all alleys as well as dark corners were crowded with love birdst during the celebrations of Valentine’s Day.
He said presenters of radio and television stations had not helped matters since they had rather accelerated the popularity of the occasion from the negative point of view and rather called for the concentration on the consumption of chocolate on the day and beyond.
In another statement on Hepatitis B, the MP for Tano South, Dr. Louisa Hanna Bissiw described the disease as a silent killer.
She therefore called for strategic policies to be put in place to fight the disease.
Dr. Bisssiw suggested that appropriate agencies should be tasked to deepen awareness on the disease in an effort to help change unsafe human behaviour that elicited the situation.
Story by Emmanuel Adu-Gyamera