A number of needy adolescent girls in the Central Region, particularly adolescent mothers, have called for government’s intervention to improve their living standards.
They maintained that the increasing rate of teenage pregnancy amongst the majority of teen girls in the region is a result of poverty which had rendered many of them school dropouts and left then untrained.
Speaking to Citi News at Kissi and Kormantse in the Komenda Edina Eguafo Abirem and Mfantsiman municipalities respectively, the adolescent mothers attributed their situation to parental neglect and poverty.
Regina Arthur, a seventeen-year-old and a mother tells Citi News that “I didn’t have any help. I didn’t have money to buy food. At times, I got money from some women around. There was a funeral in town and a guy told me he loved me and I said ok. I told him I hadn’t eaten, and he said he would give me money. He gave me GHS5 and had sex with me and got me pregnant. I suffered during my pregnancy. Facilitators of International Needs Ghana encouraged me to learn and return to school”.
She disclosed that “I stole my mother’s money, and she sacked me from the house at age seven. I was left to fend for myself and was living on the benevolence of individuals”.
Available statistics from the Ghana Health Service indicate that 10,301 teenage pregnancies were recorded in the Central Region in the year 2020.
Of this number, Ewutu Senya tops the list with 764 teenage pregnancies, followed by Asikuma Odobeng Brakwa with 678 recorded teen pregnancies, with Ajumako Enyan Essiam and Komenda Edina Eguafo Abirem in third and fourth place with 595 and 594 recorded teenage pregnancies respectively.
The Region has however moved from being first in teenage pregnancy rates in the country to third in 2020.
As part of the Global Programme to end Child Marriage, International Needs Ghana in collaboration with its partners has been engaging some of these girls in the communities to empower them in order to prevent adolescent pregnancies.
The Team leader of International Needs Ghana, Elikem Awuye said: “We have reached more than 30,000 adolescent girls within the safe spaces. The safe spaces are platforms for adolescent girls to meet every week to discuss issues that concern their wellbeing, such as adolescent pregnancy, child marriage, building their confidence and dealing with online protection amongst others. We’ve also engaged traditional leaders and other opinion leaders on how to do away with child marriage”.