CENTRAL REGION RANKS HIGH ON TEENAGE PREGNANCY
Teenage pregnancy continues to be a major problem facing adolescents, parents and other stakeholders in the Central Region and the battle against the menace rages on.
The Central Region has for the past three years been consistently ranked as the Region with the second highest prevalence rate in teenage pregnancy in Ghana.
The Ghana Health Service Report for 2015 indicates that more than 13,000 teenage girls got pregnant in the Central Region in the year under review.
Teenage pregnancy prevalence reduced from 15 per cent in 2013 to 14.8 per cent in 2014 and now stands at 14.4 percent due some measures and strategies put in place by stakeholders.
This, however, has given stakeholders hope that with some more intensified efforts, they could achieve their aim of drastically reducing the menace.
Ms Vera Oheneba Safoah, known in showbiz as Esi, reigning queen of TV3 Ghana’s Most Beautiful beauty pageant is the latest warrior to join the trail of queen mothers, chiefs, government agencies and other stakeholders in the fight against teen pregnancy in the Region.
As promised during the show as the Central Region representative, Esi affirmed her commitment to reduce teen pregnancy and has launched the “Pempamsie Foundation”, her Non-Governmental Organization, aimed at curbing the high incidence of the teenage pregnancy menace and empower the youth.
In an interview Ghana News Agency (GNA) she said the high prevalence of teenage pregnancy was denting the image of the Region that touts itself as the citadel of education and heartbeat of tourism in Ghana.
The launch of her Foundation, she said, would bring new energy to the warfront to help bring the menace to the barest minimum in the Region.
Esi and her team from the Pempamsie Foundation have since the beginning of the year embarked on many outreach programmes in Agona, Abura-Asebu-kwamankese, Cape Coast, Mfantsiman and other districts of the Region.
Recently she was at the 49th anniversary and 3rd speech and prize giving day celebration of the Biriwa Methodist Basic School in the Mfantsiman District where it was revealed by school authorities that for the past ten years an average of 10 pregnancies were recorded every academic year
It also came to light at the event that, even before this academic year ends, three girls were already pregnant, a situation the beauty Queen described as very “unfortunate and disturbing.”
Esi said it was an indication that teen pregnancy menace could deprive the country of its future leaders if proper strategies were not put in place to curb it.
According to her, parents and guardians must not be shy to discuss sex with their children especially the females when they reach the adolescent stage to prevent them from depending on their equally ignorant peers for ill advice and bad decisions.
“In fact I am saddened by the statistics and I think all parents and guardians gathered here should realize that this is not good for you. And as students, it is important you take your studies serious than indulging yourselves in life styles that would hamper your education,” she said.
Esi and her Pempamsie Foundation has also embarked on a street campaign in Cape Coast where they displayed placards with anti-teenage pregnancy messages to create awareness on the dangers of the phenomenon and also educate the public to join the crusade to stem it.
She said the campaign was part of the Pempamsie Foundation’s moves to help champion the fight against teenage pregnancy.
She said she decided to take the campaign to the streets especially in the fishing communities where the menace was high in order to conscientize them on the negative effect of giving birth as teenager on the community and the nation as a whole.
She said she her foundation was ready to join other relevant organizations, chiefs and government agencies to fight the teenage pregnancy issue in the Central Region.