Research conducted by the Upper West Regional Youth Parliament with funding support from Plan International Ghana has revealed that 83 percent of adolescent girls sleep with men to secure monies for basic needs including sanitary pads in the Wa East District of the Upper West region.
The study was on the topic; “Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health in the Wa East District of the Upper West Region: A synthesis of Research Evidence’’.
Presenting the research report at a news conference in Wa, the Speaker of the Upper West Regional Youth Parliament James Baba Anabiga indicated that the study was necessitated because, in the Wa East District, data revealed that early and unprotected sexual practices by adolescents girls are a common trend that exposes them to many reproductive health challenges including unplanned teenage pregnancies, school dropouts, unsafe abortion, and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) as well as HIV/AIDS.
He explained that the study was centered on eight objectives including examining parents’ responsibilities, adolescent girls’ sexual behaviour, District Assembly and the Office of the MP’s commitment to funding and supporting adolescent sexual and reproductive health programmes/ activities.
Mr. Anabiga revealed that 97% of parents are aware of their responsibilities to adolescents with 57% of parents not providing basic needs for the adolescent girl child.
He added that 83% of respondents constituting the majority indicated adolescent girls engage in sexual relationships to get money for sanitary pads.
“Other major causes revealed poverty (40%); ignorance (29%) constitute irresponsible parenting (17%) are the major reasons affecting adolescent sexual reproductive health in the Wa East District,” he noted.
He indicated that the study revealed that the implications of unsafe sex among adolescent girls were teenage pregnancy constituting (41%), child marriage (34%) and school drop-out (8%).
He said the office of the MP and District Assembly was cited for not providing funding and supporting adolescent sexual and reproductive health programmes/ activities.
The Speaker called for a free sanitary pad distribution policy and intensified advocacy to help address the issue of adolescent sexual and reproductive health in the Wa East District.
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