By Jerry Azanduna
Krobo, (BE/R), Feb. 23, GNA – Oyeadeeye Asa Akompanin II, the Chief of Krobo in the Techiman Municipality of the Bono East Region, has called for collaboration from all stakeholders in ending rising teenage pregnancies in the region.
He said teenage pregnancy was inimical to the growth and development of girls, hence the need for the Ghana Education Service and the Ghana Health Service as well as civil society organisations and religious bodies to come together and devise proactive measures to bring the situation under control.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at Krobo, near Techiman, the Bono East regional capital, Oyeadeeye Akompanin II said teenage pregnancy was affecting girl children’s education, saying the menace remained the major factor contributing to high school dropouts in the region.
“Records show that Bono East alone recorded more than 28,284 teenage pregnancies in the past four years which is unacceptable and required a collaborative approach to tackle,” the chief stated.
“Chiefs and queens need the support of all stakeholders to intensify sex education at public gatherings such as festivals, traditional durbars and other social gatherings,” he added.
As the embodiment of the people, Oyeadeeye Akompanin II said traditional rulers ought to be empowered enough to enact and enforce bylaws that would control boys and girls from roaming the street and attending nightclubs.
Girl-child education must also be prioritized by providing scholarships to inspire girls and to create opportunities for them to sustain their interest in schools, he said.
In reaction, Dr Alfred Kwodow Ampofo, the Techiman North District Director of Health, said they were committed to working with traditional rulers, religious bodies, and civil society in tackling the menace more proactively.
He said moral decadence and disregard for some traditional values were partly contributing to the increasing trends of teenage pregnancies in the region.
“Some traditional values which deter girls from early sex and promiscuity have also been compromised and that is a wake-up call for all of us,” Dr Ampofo stated.
He said the directorate had created counselling units for girls and called on parents to encourage their girls to visit the unit.
Meanwhile, some traders at the Tuobodom market in the Techiman North District have called on the government to do more to control the use and abuse of social media, which were driving more girls into pre-marital sex.
They said that social media had adulterated the Ghanaian culture, exposing particularly, girls to “diluted” foreign cultures.
Madam Cecilia Marfo, one of the traders, noted “parents are doing their best to ensure the proper upbringing and development of their children, but social media is also exposing and misleading the children”.
Commenting on the matter, Jenifer Amoako, a second-year student of the Tuobodom Basic Junior High School told the GNA it was difficult for some girls to control the use of social media.
She, however, added that their teachers and parents were doing everything possible to help them to concentrate on their books and use social productively.