Shocking Female MPs alarmed as Ghana records 750,000 teenage pregnancies in 2014

Statistics from the Ghana Health Service indicates that about 750 thousand teenagers between the ages of 15 and 19 became pregnant in 2014, with the Central Region recoding the highest.

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Queen mothers and female MPs at a news conference play

Queen mothers and female MPs at a news conference

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Statistics from the Ghana Health Service indicates that about 750 thousand teenagers between the ages of 15 and 19 became pregnant in 2014, with the Central Region recoding the highest.

Reacting to the matter, the women's caucus in parliament, who expressed concern about the development, called for a concerted effort by all stakeholders to tackle the social menace.

The Member of Parliament for Tarkwa-Nsuaem, Gifty Eugenia Kusi, raised the matter in a statement on the floor of parliament. She said "IPAS Ghana, an NGO, has also disclosed to the members of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Health at a meeting in Koforidua in June this year, that girls as young as nine to ten years in some parts of Ghana, purposely get pregnant to test their fertility and their peers contribute funds to have the foetus aborted later. I suggest that the MP who is my brother and colleague in the constituency and other interested individuals should let us collaborate to try these strategies to help reduce and eventually eradicate the problem".

A male MP said it was high time parents reviewed their responsibilities towards their children right from their childhood through to their teens and adulthood.

A female Member of Parliament for Agona East in the Central Region, Queenster Pokua, said the underpinning factor of teenage pregnancy is not only bad parenting but largely due to poverty. She stressed the need for government to work towards eradicating poverty at all levels in society.

The women of the house then followed up with a news conference together with queen mothers from the Central Region, where the menace is on the rise. Close to 14,000 teenagers in the region got pregnant last year indicating a 64% increase in the region over the previous years.

The Queen mother for Kissi in the Central Region, Nana Efua Badu II, bemoaned the trend where the quest for freedom and modernization is threatening morality, blaming it for the high rate of teenage pregnancy.

Member of Parliament for Abirem in the Central Region, Esther Obeng Dapaah,  said they will soon hold meetings with the queen mothers to discuss the issues and find solutions to them.

"Immediately, we will call a meeting with the queen mothers so we share ideas. They will tell us what the problems are then we will be able to bring them to the house. In the Central Region like I said, we had 38 teenagers who were pregnant whiles they were writing the just ended BECE. And adding from 2012 to 2015, we had about 35,000 teenagers who got pregnant and that is very high" she lamented.

The leader of the women's group in parliament, Mary Salifu Boforo, who is the MP for the Savelugu constituency, said collaborative effort is necessary in tackling the menace.

"When you look at this teenage pregnancy, it is like a culture now everywhere; so we have to come together and raise the issue with one voice".

With a resolution from the queen mothers, they pledged not to rest until there is a drastic change in the attitude of teenagers who are the future leaders of the country.

At the just ended Basic Education Certificate Examination, all ten regions recorded high numbers of pregnant teenagers who sat for the exams. In some cases, the teenagers were nursing mothers.

Credit: tv3network.com

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