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29.07.2004 Regional News

E/R recorded 13,872 teenage pregnancies in 2003

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Koforidua, July 29, GNA - The Eastern Region recorded 13,872 teenage pregnancies last year and this represents 16 per cent of antenatal attendants in the region.

For the same period, the region recorded 111 maternal deaths out of which 10 were adolescents.

The Eastern Regional Minister, Dr Francis Osafo-Mensah said, these at the formal opening of the 18th Annual National Conference of the Public Health Nurses Group on Wednesday.

The six-day conference is being organized under the theme "Adolescent Development and Health - A Concern for the Public Health Nurse".

He called on health workers not to allow such high figures to scare them but rather to see them as challenges and work hard to overcome them.

Dr Osafo-Mensah expressed regrets that the current generation of adolescents take delight in indiscipline behaviour and immoral lifestyle that they acquired from storybooks and pornographic materials. ''Such behaviours have contributed to the high levels of teenage pregnancies, sexually-transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS''.

He called on schools to establish education and counselling groups to enhance behavioural change among the youth.

Professor Agyeman Kofi Badu Akosa, Director General of Ghana Health Service called for efforts to repackage the long vacations of the Ghanaian students so that the students could use those periods to learn new things in life, instead of idling about and getting involved in immoral activities.

He reminded health workers who had left the country for greener pastures to be aware that they were created as Ghanaians to contribute towards the development of Ghana and not other countries.

The National Chairman of the Public Health Nurses Group, Mrs Grace Nkrumah-Mills said, after last year's conference of the Group, all their branches were encouraged to research into aspects of safe motherhood and the dissemination of the results of the research would be done at this year's conference.

She said the Eastern Regional branch researched into HIV/AIDS partner negotiation and later adopted two orphans in the Manya Krobo District.

The Queenmother of the New Juaben Traditional Area, Nana Yaa Daani, called on nurses to co-operate with doctors in the discharge of their work and pleaded with them not to resort to strikes when they have grievances to settle with their employers. She called for the re-introduction of puberty rites to help reduce the number of teenage pregnancies. July 29, 04