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13.01.2005 Regional News

Local authorities discuss worrying teenage pregnancy cases in Gomoa

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Apam, Jan. 13, GNA - A ten year-old girl from Nyanyano in the Gomoa District last year gave birth easily, without any complication or caesarean operation, local health authorities have disclosed. Earlier, an 11-year-old girl also delivered a baby at the Apam Catholic hospital without any complication, Ms Diana Hall-Baidoo, the District Director of Health Services told a workshop on adolescent sexual reproductive health at Apam on Wednesday.

She expressed concerned about the increasing rate of teenage pregnancy cases in the area, saying at least 35 percent of antenatal attendants in the district were teenagers.

Traditional rulers, teachers, Assembly members and religious leaders attended the workshop, organised by the Central Regional Population Council with sponsorship from African Youth Alliance, a non-governmental organisation.

The District Director of Health service blamed the situation on lack of parental control and reminded parents that "money is not the end of everything" so they should have time for their children. Miss Joyce Aidoo, acting District Chief Executive (DCE) for Gomoa, said the Assembly had set aside two percent of its share of the common fund for population related activities.

She said the Assembly was constructing recreational centres for the youth at designated points.

Mr Paul Djan, Regional Population Officer, said lack of knowledge about sexuality in adolescents was hampering their development and called for the removal of socio-cultural norms that did not encourage parent-child communication on adolescent sexuality.

Mr Djan said values, attitudes and good behaviour in promoting positive reproductive health were first formed at the adolescent stage, therefore, it was necessary for young people to be well informed about the various stages of adulthood.

Okatakyi Nyanful Krampah X, Omanhene of Gomoa Ajumako, and Obrifo Ahunako Ahor Ankobea II, Omahnene of Gomoa Akyempim Traditional Area, jointly appealed to the District Assembly to enact by-laws against all-night wake-keeping at funerals as a measure to check the alarming teenage pregnancy in the area.

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