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