GUDDY ABENA Ampomah Kermah, the Shama District School Health Coordinator has expressed concern about the alarming rate of teenage pregnancy in the district.
She has therefore appealed to parents and guardians in the area to help resolve the problem.
Investigations conducted by DAILY GUIDE in the district revealed that teenage pregnancy was one of the problems which triggered the vicious cycle of poverty in some coastal communities in the district, apart from causing an uncontrollable increase in population.
In an interview with the paper, the Shama District School Health Coordinator pointed out that the rate at which incidents of teenage pregnancy had increased in the district indicated the situation was stronger than the fight being waged against it.
She mentioned that apart from curiosity and the lack of sex education, which led some teenagers into such a situation, most of the girls were victims of teenage pregnancy due to pressure from their parents who convinced them to get pregnant before they finished junior high school.
She alleged that most of the parents, particularly the mothers, believed that if their girls in the primary and JHS levels did not get pregnant before they finished school, they might become barren.
'You will not believe it but here in the Shama district, some parents encourage their girls to go in for boyfriends to get them pregnant, especially when they find out that their children's classmates are pregnant, so here it is like a competition,' she added.
Justice Agbanyo, Executive Director, Community Integration Initiative Foundation, a non-governmental organization (NGO) that discusses adolescent health issues in the district, told DAILY GUIDE his outfit was poised to educate parents there to disabuse their minds about the perception that their girls would become barren if they did not get pregnant while in school.
He stressed it was normal for teenagers at that stage to became curious about the rapid changes in their body, the strange emotions and attraction they had for the opposite sex.
He however pointed out that it was the responsibility of the parents to ensure that they educated their young girls on how to control their emotions.
The District Chief Executive (DCE) of Shama, Enoch Appiah revealed that the assembly was doing all it could to curb the rampant rate of teenage pregnancy in the district.
He said his office was ready to support any institution or NGOs that initiated programmes aimed at solving the issue of teenage pregnancy in the district.
He mentioned that the four-year-old district assembly would soon come out with bye-laws to restrain children at the primary and JHS levels from patronizing video centres in the communities at night.
He noted that the assembly had resolved to deal drastically with teachers in the district who allegedly persuaded the young girls slept with them.
From Emmanuel Opoku, Shama