A workshop aimed at sensitising the youth against
teenage pregnancy and early child marriage, is underway at Essuohyia in the
Ekumfi District of the Central Region.
The five-day programme, which began last Friday, is being
organised by the Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG), a non-governmental
organisation committed to adolescent reproductive health, with funding from United
Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
The Field Assistant of PPAG, Mr Joshua Andoh, said through
a project dubbed, ‘Young and Wise Youth Leadership Club’ (YoLe), his outfit was
providing intensive education to young
mothers and girls who were pregnant, to empower them to know their rights as
far as their sexual and reproductive rights were concerned.
He noted that through the provision of sex education
and promotion of safe sex, girls would uphold their dignity, adding that the
prevalence of teenage pregnancies in the district needed to be reduced.
Mr Andoh observed that despite the continuous message
on abstinence, many young girls were not heeding to the advice, hence the need to
beef up awareness creation and risk associated with early parenthood.
In order to reduce social stigma associated with
teenage pregnancy, he underscored the need to create supportive environments
for pregnant students to pursue their education without any intimidation.
Mr Andoh indicated that many young girls endowed with
skills, were dropping out of school due to early pregnancy and associated child bearing, and promised his
outfit’s support to unleash their talent and also assist those who wanted to pursue
their education with needed funds.
He explained that if the teenagers were not trained in
the profession they yearned for, they would be unable to secure good employment
to sustain their livelihood.
Ms Francisca Amponsah, Registered Community Health
Nurse of Essuohyia, noted that teenage pregnancy was a major cause of maternal
mortality in the country.
According to her, statistics indicate that 14.2 per cent
of girls between 14-19 years were having children with just a few of them using
modern family planning methods, stressing
that the youth needed to take advantage of
the modern methods to prevent sexual related diseases and unwanted pregnancies.
To reduce poverty level, Ms Amponsah urged young girls to attend classes being run by the PPAG, to understand the need to develop their skills and talents to secure better employment in the future.
FROM JOYCELINE NATALLY CUDJOE, Essuohyia
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