12,311 teenage pregnancy cases recorded in Brong Ahafo

Brong-Ahafo Region recorded 12,311 teenage pregnancy cases among adolescents aged 15 to 19 years in 2017 as against 12,112 in 2016.

This is contained a report on Teenage Pregnancy by Global Media Foundation (GLOMEF), a Media Advocacy organisation in Sunyani code named, ‘The State of Teenage Pregnancy in the Brong-Ahafo Region’.

The Founder and Chief Executive Officer of GLOMEF, Mr. Raphael Godlove Ahenu, released the report when he met the media Sunyani on Monday.

The report further revealed that three hundred and fifty-five (355) adolescents aged 10 to 14 got pregnant during the same period as against three hundred and eighty-seven (387) in 2016.

In 2015, the region, according to the report recorded twelve thousand one hundred and forty teenage pregnancy cases involving girls aged 15 to 19 years, while three and fifty-two (352) adolescents aged 10 to 14 got pregnant during the same year.

Abortion Cases recorded

The report further revealed that one thousand and seven (1,007) abortion cases were recorded in the region among girls aged 15 to in 2017 as against one thousand, one hundred and eighty (1,180) in 2016.

Among early adolescents aged 10 to 14, fifty-three (53) abortion cases were recorded in 2017 as against forty-four (44) in 2016, while a total 53, 114 abortion cases were recorded in 2017 alone across all government hospitals nationwide out of which 13,918 of such cases were unsafe abortions as against 15,325 in 2016.

Key Issues

According to the report, the key issues contributing to increasing teenage pregnancies in the region include culture of silence surrounding SRHR discussions, inability of parents to openly discuss SRH issues with their dependents, insufficient media coverage of SRH issues, lack of community conversations on SRH issues.

Other factors are limited access to community-based peer education and service provision by young people, most service providers are not youth friendly, while existing health services are not youth friendly, lack of integration of SRH/HIV programmes with other initiatives targeting young people (Sports, income generating programs) and Limited communication between parents and young people on SRH issues

Lack of government commitment to implement global, regional and national protocols in respect of SRHR as a means of ensuring quality life and inadequate financial and human resources for sexual and reproductive health and rights were also identified as a major issue.

The report chastised government for doing little and or not committed to providing comprehensive and integrated Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) services in line with the recommendations of the International Conference and Population and Development (ICPD) held in Cairo, Egypt, 1994.

Recommendations

In order to save women’s lives and improve maternal health to help achieve the SDG3, GLOMEF recommended that the expansion of  access to family planning services and counseling, improving education for young people about reproductive health, including about the risks of unprotected intercourse and strategies for preventing unintended pregnancy, increase public awareness about Ghana’s abortion law.

Further, the report recommends that there should be male involvement in the development, promotion and delivery of SRHR services, men should also be empowered to promote and actively participate in SRHRR services and programmes and increased access by young people to quality reproductive health services that are safe, rights-based, and confidential

The report again called for increased financial and human resources for sexual and reproductive health and rights, clear and consistent messages about Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights are required.

Mr. Ahenu stressed that any negative statements about SRHR shall be avoided by all stakeholders.

Source: Francis Owusu-Ansah || globalnewsgh, Sunyani

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