08.08.2005 Health

Teenage pregnancies on the increase in the Asante-Akim South

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Juaso (Ash), Aug 08, GNA - Participants at a mid-year health review meeting of the Asante-Akim South District Directorate of Health have expressed concern about the alarming rate of teenage pregnancies in the district.

They suggested the enactment of a law by the district assembly that would hold parents whose daughters get pregnant before attaining the age of 18 liable for prosecution.

Teenage pregnancies featured prominently in almost all the presentations of the various community health nurses from the sub-districts.

Most of the participants attributed this trend to the breakdown of marriages leading to child neglect. Traditional rulers and opinion leaders at the meeting called for efforts to help reduce this phenomenon in the wake of the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

Another area of concern was the delivery by women who are 35 years and above which, according to health professionals, is not healthy for both mother and child.

During an open forum, most of the participants attributed this to the fact that women who marry after the breakdown of their first marriages were compelled to give birth in order to salvage their marriages irrespective of their ages.

Dr Franklin Asiedu Bekoe, the District Director of Health Services, mentioned high teenage pregnancies, still births, malaria, malnutrition in children under five years, low supervised delivery, out-patients attendance and family planning as some of the issues of concern to the directorate.

He called for greater collaboration between the district hospital and stakeholders in strengthening the hospital's emergency preparedness. Mrs Gifty Ohene Konadu, Member of Parliament (MP) for Asante-Akim South, said the district was fortunate to have three medical doctors in the face of the exodus of health personnel from the country. She urged all to embrace the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) since it was the lasting solution to their health problems.

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