Upper East Region exceeds national teenage pregnancy rate of 12%
Feb. 14, 2020
Reports from the Ghana Health Service indicate that the Upper East Region has currently exceeded the national target of 12% teenage pregnancy cases.
This was revealed at the launch of a project called ‘Safe and Protective Environment for Adolescent Development’ (SPREAD) in Pelungu, a community in the Nabdam District of the Upper East Region.
The project is being spearheaded by Youth Harvest Foundation Ghana, YHFG, a youth-focused non-governmental organization based in Bolgatanga.
The SPREAD project seeks to build the capacities of adolescents and communities including their structures and duty bearers to create an enabling environment that supports child protection, prevents early and forced child marriages and teenage pregnancies as well as prevent and respond to sexual and gender-based violence in the Upper East Region.
The Ghana Health Service report showed that in 2018, the Upper East Region recorded 15.8% of the proportion of pregnant women as teenagers who visited the various health facilities in the region.
According to the national statistics, the prevalence of child marriages in Ghana ranges between 12.2% and 39.2%t, with the Upper East Region having the highest percentage of 39.2%.
It is against this backdrop that the Youth Harvest Foundation Ghana with support from UNICEF is implementing the SPREAD project in 30 communities in six districts in the Upper East Region.
The districts include Builsa South, Bongo, Talensi, Bawku West, Kassena–Nankana West and Nabdam Districts.
Project Officer at Youth Harvest Foundation Ghana, Albert Apotele Nyaaba, gave a brief background of the project.
The Divisional Chief of Pelungu, Naab Sierig Sore Sobil, attributed the high level of teenage pregnancies and early marriages to the lack of parental-care.
An appeal was made to key stakeholders to develop and effectively implement policies and programmes at reducing drastically the menace of teenage pregnancy attributing the rise to the lack of family planning education in Basic and Second Cycle institutions, early marriage and other socio-cultural factors.
The 60 selected adolescents from six districts of the Upper East Region who have been trained and equipped as Youth Ambassadors to help support child protection and prevent early and forced marriages in their various communities were given bicycles to facilitate their movement.
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