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08.02.2006 Regional News

Upper East Region registers 3,404 teenage pregnancies

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Bolgatanga, Feb. 8, GNA - Statistics from the Directorate of Births And Deaths Registry in the Upper East Region indicate that 3,404 teenagers between the ages of 10 and 19 years, became pregnant between 2003 and 2004.

Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Bolgatanga on Tuesday, the Regional Director of Births of Deaths, Mr Jojo Dolphin, attributed the phenomenon to forceful marriages of teenagers by their parents, irresponsible parenting, influx of foreign culture and peer group pressure.

The Regional Director regretted that, as a result of this situation, majority of teenagers dropped out of school. He said most of the teenagers experienced a lot of health complications during delivery, since their bodies were not matured enough for child birth. "At such tender age, they are also not matured enough to be able to take good care of their babies," he added. He noted that one of the major challenges facing teenage mothers was that, most of the children they delivered were fatherless, since in most cases the young girls were not able to identify the persons, who impregnated them.

Mr Dolphin further indicated that, most often, the children they give birth to grow to become incorrigible, since the young single-mothers could not give them proper training all alone. He urged parents to become more responsible to their children by providing their basic needs and also find time to constantly monitor their activities, and correct them at a tender age before they go wayward.

He further stressed on the need for the Ministry of Information and the National Media Commission to help prevent certain bad foreign cultural practices that were being shown on television screens and on the internet, which were not good for the consumption of teenagers. Mr Dolphin called on school authorities to establish and reinforce their guidance and counsel units to advise the youth on the need to avoid pre-marital sex and the indulgence in certain social vices that could endanger their future. 8 Feb. 06