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19.07.2004 Regional News

High prevalence rate of abortion recorded at Ga Mashie

By GNA

Tema, July 19, GNA - A study conducted by the Sociology Department, of the University of Ghana, Legon, has shown a high prevalence rate of abortions among adolescent girls in the Ga Mashie area of the Greater Accra Region.

Sixty-four per cent of the 29 girls, between 15 and 24 years, who were covered by the study, experienced pregnancies, while half of them were engaged in abortions.

Mr Ismael Ashitey, Minister of State for Trade, Industries and Presidents Special Initiatives, made this known in a speech read on his behalf, at a durbar organised by the Federation of International Lawyers (FIDA), and African Youth Alliance (AYA) at the weekend.

Mr Ashitey, who is also MP for Tema East, said the study also established that the girls have not been exposed to sex education. He said a Population and Advisory Committee meeting in the Upper East Region, divulged that 200 teenage girls in Bongo District dropped out of school last year, due to teenage pregnancy.

Mr Ashitey said lack of sex education for the adolescents that constitute 30.5 per cent of the country's population was a breach of their human rights.

He said a research carried out by AYA, in 2002, revealed that alcohol and substance abuse was key adolescent problems.

Mr Ashittey said the magnitude of the problem was more acute in the Greater Accra and Ashanti Regions.

Mrs Chris Dadzie, President of FIDA, expressed regret about frequent media reports about the sexual abuse of girls, which lead to sexually transmitted diseases like HIV/AIDS.

Nii Tetteh Otu II, Kpone Mantse and President of the Greater Accra Regional House of Chiefs, who chaired the function, urged para-legals being trained by FIDA and AYA to use the knowledge they acquire to carry out educational campaigns on the negative effect of sexual abuse.

Forty Communities who were taken through a five-day intensive training workshop on Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health Rights were presented with certificates at the durbar.

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