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Cecilia Rowland: Teenage pregnancy should not be a barrier for girls to progress

Dr Rowland said getting pregnant at an early age should not act as a barrier to girls wishing to further their education and build a career to contribute meaningfully to society

Cecilia Rowland, a Cameroonian-born public health specialist and international clinical researcher, has said discovering that she was pregnant as a teenager was one of the biggest shocks in her life.

Rowland said getting pregnant at an early age should not act as a barrier to girls who wish to further their education and build a career that will allow them to contribute meaningfully to society.

Speaking to Nana Yaa Mensah on the Asaase Breakfast Show on Thursday (15 June 2023), Rowland called on parents to support their wards, regardless of their mistakes.

“When I try to look back on my life, sometimes it feels like it happened to somebody else, but it happened to me. Getting pregnant as a teenager was the biggest shock to me,” Rowland said.

“It was a depressing moment, but I read books and somewhere, somehow, I kept rejecting the idea that it was over for me. Each time I heard gossip, I’d say to myself, ‘I’m way smarter than you. After this pregnancy, I’ll show you what I’ve got.’

“When I look back at my teenage pregnancy, I have my mother to thank. She decided that I was smart and that it shouldn’t have to stop my education. She just sent a car to pack my things to bring me home so I could self-study,” Rowland recalled.

Listen to Cecilia Rowland in the audio clip attached below:

Watch the full interview in the video clip attached below:


Reporting by Fred Dzakpata in Accra

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