Teenage pregnancy - 380 girls in Sunyani dropped out of school
Three hundred and eighty schoolgirls in the Sunyani District, who became pregnant, dropped out of school last year.
They formed part of 503 teenage pregnancies that were recorded at antenatal clinics in the district over the period. Mr. Kwame Menka, Principal Technical Officer at the Sunyani District Health Directorate announced this at the inauguration of the District's Population Advocacy Committee at Sunyani on Tuesday. The 10-member committee is charged with the responsibility of helping to solve the numerous population problems. Mr. Menka stressed the need for the committee to work in close collaboration with the Ministry of Health, which is implementing special programmes to address population issues including sexually transmitted diseases, family planning and responsible parenthood. The District Chief Executive, Mr. Kwadwo Nyamekye-Marfo said a Ministry of Health study has revealed that many teenagers in the district indulge in unprotected sex by the time they are 14 or 15 years old. He identified parental neglect and permissiveness, economic hardships, curiosity and cultural practices, which make females submissive to their male counterparts as some of the causes of teenage pregnancy.
Speaking on the theme for the inauguration: "Teenage pregnancy and unsafe abortions - the way forward," Mr. Nyamekye-Marfo stressed the need to make it easier for teenagers to have access to information about sexuality. "In this age when sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV/AIDS are spreading fast, it is important that every effort is made to wipe away ignorance on reproductive health among the youth". Mr. K. K. Agyei-Addoquaye, Deputy Brong Ahafo Regional Population Officer, said the solution to the population problem in the country should be radical because of its magnitude. He advocated the mounting of intensive education campaigns in schools and the distribution of condoms to sexually active youth to forestall a calamity. Nana Bosoma Asor Nkrawiri, Sunyanihene, who chaired the function, underscored the need for the committee to work in close collaboration with all stakeholders, particularly the Ministry of Health and the district assembly, to achieve the desired results.