Dr James Akpabli, Deputy Director of Health in charge of Public Health has expressed concern about the spate of adolescent pregnancies in the Region.
Dr Akpabli made this known in Bolgatanga at a Youth Colloquium on Adolescent Pregnancy attended by students of basic and second cycle schools and youth groups.
It was organised by the Regional Secretariat of the National Population Council as part of the post World Population Day activities.
Making a presentation on the topic: “Adolescent Pregnancy including Abortion and its effects on Adolescent Development, Dr Akpabli stated that research conducted in 2011 by the Regional Directorate of Ghana Health Service (GHS) revealed that about 16.2 per cent of girls had babies during their adolescent ages and often resulted in birth complications which sometimes led to death.
He blamed the situation on irresponsible parenting, broken homes and peer pressure.
Dr Akpabli said majority of fathers had neglected their responsibilities leaving mothers alone to take care of children.
This, he explained, makes it difficult for most mothers to be able to take good care of their daughters, which compels them to give themselves out to men for support leading to pregnancies.
“This trend if not checked now could lead to the cycle of poverty in homes and will continue from generation to generation since teenagers cannot take good care of their children to become responsible in future”, he said.
Dr Akpabli stated that fertility rate among the adolescent population in the Region is high, and pointed out that majority of them do not patronise family planning services.
He cautioned the youth to stay away from pre-marital sex and concentrate on their studies to enable them to become responsible in future.
Dr Akpabli asked teachers, the media and traditional authorities to help address the problem of pre-marital sex.
Mrs Mary Alosum, Municipal Girls Education Officer stated that currently there are about 10 adolescent girls who had given birth in the area and said she had managed to reintegrate four of them back to school.
The Regional Population Officer, Mr Alosibah Azam said people within the ages of 10-24 constitute about 32 per cent of the Region’s population which is very important potential for socio-economic development.
He therefore called for urgent comprehensive intervention packages to be instituted to ensure that the youth are well informed and provided with health care services to enable the
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