Boys must be included in educational programmes targeted at addressing teenage pregnancy within communities across the country.
This, according to Mrs Linda Yeboah, a girl-child education advocate, was necessary because activities leading to teenage pregnancy involve both sexes.
“Making a determined effort to deal with this problem which is gradually becoming a menace is very necessary and we must not only chase the adolescent girls in our efforts to fight teenage pregnancy.
“Deliberate moves with more focus on the boys or young men who get these girls pregnant must be made to bring the situation under control or ending it completely,” she said.
Speaking in an interview with the Ghanaian Times over the weekend in reaction to the news of teenage pregnancy reaching an all-time high in the Bono and Ahafo regions of the country, Mrs Yeboah stressed that it was time for attention to be turned to the boys, saying they must be educated on the consequences of sexual immorality.
She suggested that appropriate sanctions must be meted out to young boys involved in sexual immorality.
To change the narrative, she mentioned that adolescents must be made aware of their “risky” behaviours because they could also acquire incurable Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) like HIV.
Ms Yeboah, therefore, called on religious and traditional leaders in the country to rise up in the fight against teenage pregnancy. “I know many chiefs have tried handling this canker but more needs to be done. Parents must also ensure they are properly bringing up their children by limiting the kind of freedom they give them.”
“Exposure to social media must also be checked, while remaining very curious about the kind of company their wards keep because peer pressure also contributes to the bad behaviours of teenagers,” she added.
According to Ms Yeboah, though teenage pregnancy was a worldwide problem, it was more prevalent in developing countries, especially in underdeveloped communities.
Explaining, she indicated that present and subsequent governments had tried handling the problem of teenage pregnancy, but anytime a survey was conducted, the results showed that more needed to be done as the number just kept rising.
Ms Yeboah, who is also the Founder of Abronoma Foundation, a child and women centred NGO further advised young girls to focus on their career goals and stop indiscriminate sexual practices.
“Though it takes two for a pregnancy to happen, the situation affects girls more because they usually have to drop out of school after they get pregnant and many do not even return to the classrooms afterwards while the boys continue with their education so I urge all young girls to respect themselves enough and stay away from sex so that they can have a bright future.”
“Teenage pregnancy can shatter your dreams so make studying a priority,” she advised.
BY RAISSA SAMBOU