Chiefs call for measures to curb teenage pregnancy in South Tongu

According to the South Tongu directorate of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), 128 girls aged 10-19 became pregnant, in the year 2021

Stakeholders in South Tongu district of the Volta Region are worried about a surge in teenage pregnancy in the area.

They are, therefore, calling for regional and national collaboration to tackle the menace.

According to the South Tongu directorate of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), 128 girls aged 10-19 became pregnant in 2021.

In 2022, the case slightly declined to 100 girls representing 12%, however, in 2023, the number sharply climbed to 120, equivalent to 13.5%.

The statistics were revealed by the district health on Thursday, (6 June) during a stakeholders meeting between Tongu Council of Chiefs and the security agencies in the Tongu enclave.

Rachelle Elikem Zewu, a public health nurse in the district who disclosed the statistics at the meeting, attributed the increase in cases to “high incidence of unprotected sexual activities, socioeconomic hardships and rural-urban migration”.

She added, “The situation is further compounded by the prevalence of substance abuse, sexual and gender-based violence, and lack of adolescent-friendly services in communities and schools in South Tongu

Zewu said the consequences of teenage pregnancy in the district are severe, with many of the girls facing eclampsia, premature births, difficult labour, depression and sexually transmitted diseases.

She said, “This menace not only harms the young girls but also leads to school dropouts, thereby crippling their prospects”.

Mavis Agumeh, the district health director in an interview with the media after the meeting, said her outfit is working hard to curb the menace.

She reiterated the need for parents to provide sexual orientation to their children at home.

Zikpitorga Awuku Doe Atakli, the paramount stool father of the Fievie traditional area, pledged on behalf of the Tongu Council of Chiefs to collaborate with the Ghana Health Service (GHS) in combating the menace.

Zikpitorga Awuku stressed the importance of collective effort in addressing the problem and ensuring the future well-being of the children.

He urged all relevant stakeholders and corporate Ghana for a united front to tackle the root causes of teenage girl pregnancy in the district.

The traditional leader called on parents in the area to join forces in providing adolescent-friendly services, education and support to every girl child.

Reporting by Albert Kuzor in the Volta Region

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