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In the Bono, Bono East, and Ahafo regions, the rate of teenage pregnancies is at an all-time high.

64,000 incidences of teen pregnancy were reported in the Bono, Bono East, and Ahafo regions between 2016 and 2020.

The Bono East region noted 28,284 teenage pregnancies during the course of the four years.

With 22,944 cases, the Bono region came in second.

With 12,861 instances during the same year, the Ahafo region had the fewest teenage pregnancies.

Between 2016 and 2020, 555,575 teenagers nationwide between the ages of 10 and 19 became pregnant.

Within four years, 13,444 teenagers between the ages of 10 and 14 got pregnant, while some 542,131 teenagers aged 15 to 19 years got pregnant.

When the Global Media Foundation presented its 2022 report on the state of teen pregnancies in the regions, Raphael Godlove Ahenu, the CEO, revealed this at a media event in Sunyani.

High levels of poverty, early marriage, gender discrimination based on historically unequal gender roles, a lack of sexual and reproductive health education, limited access to contraceptive use, and discrimination against young women’s reproductive rights were some of the factors cited in the report titled “the State of teenage pregnancy in the Bono, Bono East, and Ahafo regions.”

Understanding both the individual and societal causes and impacts of teenage pregnancy, in Mr. Ahenu’s opinion, can help to address the issue in Ghana.

According to him, studies have found a clear relationship between educational attainment and the age of the first sexual encounter.

“The higher the educational level of the adolescent, the less likely they are to engage in sexual intercourse at an early age,” he added.

The CEO of GLOMeF recommended that efforts should be made to involve young boys in adolescent sexual health programs and services, develop reintegration services for young moms in the education and social sectors, and address socio-cultural concerns connected to teenage pregnancy.

He claimed that in order to address the high number of adolescent pregnancies in Ghana, a national stakeholders meeting must be called by the Ministries of Gender, Children, and Social Protection, Ghana Health Service, and Health.

During the meeting, he continued, the situation will be analyzed, the current levels will be determined, and methods for ongoing national sensitization will be discussed.

Mr. Ahenu further urged the government and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) to work together effectively to combat teenage pregnancy and boost research activities that are concentrated on important districts and areas.

“Developing a comprehensive and coordinated approach to reduce the high rates of teenage pregnancy in Ghana must be a priority of the government, NGOs and civil society,” he stressed.

He asserted that the reproductive health of adolescents and young people is a critical problem since it affects both the generation’s health now and as they enter adulthood.

However, he highlighted his disappointment with the paucity of funding that national and local government agencies have consistently provided for adolescent and young people’s reproductive health.

“Investing in solutions that ensure adolescents and young people develop the capacity and skills to live mentally healthy lives creates immediate and life-long benefits for individuals and society.

It has the potential to shift the dial for future generations and whole economies,” Mr Ahenu explained.

He emphasized that helping parents and caregivers during their children’s formative years through evidence-based parenting programs to encourage responsive caring is an obvious method to do this.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this publication do not in anyway reflect the opinions of State News Ghana

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