The Rate of Teenage pregnancy, thus pregnant girls under the age of 19 years recorded at the various health facilities in the Volta Region has increased.
The increase although marginal, has sent worrying signals to health worker and stakeholders in the region who have vowed to improve their work to reverse the trend.
According to the review report of the region for 2015, about 15.1% of antenatal attendants were teenagers under the age of 19 in 2015. This represents an almost one percent rise from 2014 which was 14.5%.
Out of this increment 301 girls between the ages of 10 and 14 were pregnant in the period under review. The Highest percentage of 23.2% of teenage pregnancy was recorded in the Adaklu District. The Ho Municipality recorded the least percentage which was 11.2%.
Dr. Joseph Teye Nuertey, the Regional Director of Health Services who described the situation as worrying assured that “the situation cannot be left unattended to.”
Lamenting that the menace has become a major headache for him; he therefore called on resident, fellow health workers and other stakeholders join him “declare war on the phenomenon.”
He said but for the assistance of Marie Stopes International – a non-governmental organisation providing contraception and safe abortion services to countries around the world – the numbers would have been even higher.
He urged that all stakeholders including NGOs, Civil Society, Chiefs and community leaders should put their shoulders to the wheel to nib the situation in the bud. “I wish to call on civil society, community-based organisations, opinion leaders, chiefs and queen mothers to come out with activities and by-laws to deal with this social challenge.
“I want to remind all men that it is against the law to have sex or to have canal knowledge of any girl child below the age 16,” he added and called on authorities to deal with all men who engage in these unlawful activities.
Kwadwo Duodu, is a professional journalist, social advocate and passionate about Health systems with interest in science reporting. He is a member of the Institute of Financial and Economic Journalists, (IFEJ) Ghana and the Ghana Water and Sanitation Journalists Network (GWJN).