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Sex with older men surges teenage pregnancy in Upper Manya Krobo – DCE

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According to a recent report by the Ghana Health Service, the Upper Manya Krobo district ranks second nationwide in the prevalence of teenage pregnancy. In 2021, the district recorded a prevalence rate of 19.3%, making it the highest in Ghana and the Eastern Region.

In 2022, the district ranked fifth in Ghana and second in the Eastern Region with a prevalence rate of 18.2%. Last year, the district recorded a 16.6% prevalence rate, placing it 11th in Ghana and third in the Eastern Region. In the first quarter of 2024, the district recorded a 17.8% prevalence rate, placing it third in Ghana and second in the Eastern Region.

The District Health Directorate has identified several contributing factors for the high prevalence of teenage pregnancy chiefly among them is adolescent girls engaging in transactional sex with older men for financial support to meet their basic needs. Other factors include high poverty rates, poor parental support, and the influence of Western lifestyles.

The District Chief Executive for Upper Manya Krobo, Joe Sam, addressed the assembly members and expressed deep concern over the situation. “This current situation, indeed, is quite alarming and most disturbing and therefore requires the effort of all of us to help address the issue,” the DCE said. He emphasized that it requires a collective effort to address the issue.

In response, the District Health Service, in collaboration with JOICFP, has intensified outreach programs to promote access to sexual and reproductive health services targeted at the youth to reduce the high teenage pregnancy rates.

Additionally, the Assembly has allocated office accommodation to support the project. The Upper Manya Krobo District is also among the eleven districts and municipalities in the Eastern Region selected to benefit from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) 8th Country Program. This program aims to reduce child marriage, gender-based violence, and maternal deaths in the region.

Faisal Bawa, Program Analyst for UNFPA’s Gender-Based Violence Unit, noted that child marriage significantly contributes to adolescent pregnancies, with over 100,000 cases reported annually in Ghana. This issue has severe consequences for the development, health, and education of adolescent girls. Key stakeholders, including Social Welfare, the Department of Gender, and the Ghana Health Service, have been urged to collaborate with UNFPA to accelerate actions addressing these issues.

Source: Ghana/Starrfm.com.gh/103.5FM/Kojo Ansah

 

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