March 17, 2018

He Member of Parliament (MP) for the North Dayi constituency, Joycelyn Tetteh is advocating the adoption of a national policy to curb the increasing menace of teenage pregnancy in the country.

According to her, a National policy which prioritize sex education is the only panacea that can help address factors that lead to teenage pregnancy.

“In Ghana, teenage pregnancy is a major cause of maternal mortality, as the bodies of most teenage girls are not well developed and matured to accommodate a baby. Teenage pregnancy also results in most affected girls dropping out school, becoming unskilled and unfit for the labour market, even as they prepare to become mothers. This double jeopardy of being an unskilled teenager with a responsibility of taking care of the young is what demands that some immediate, relevant, national policy is crafted to halt the worrying tread of teenage of pregnancy”, she stated.

The MP made the call on the floor of Parliament in a statement on the increasing level of the phenomenon in the North Dayi Constituency.

The MP said the time has come for the country to prioritize sex education in various basic schools to help end the menace.

She also urged parents to show keen interest in the extracurricular activities of their children, especially, the teenage ones while also urging the country to begin to “teach safer sex practices among the youth instead of assuming that our children are ignorant of sex as an act and sexuality as a topic”.

“The effort required to address this social problem of huge significance can only be effective if it is multi-faceted. The approach to solving this problem must acknowledge the role of parents, teachers, community leaders, chiefs and Queen mothers, religious leaders as well as politicians, and every Member of Parliament. Ghana has over 60% of its population below 35 years.

This feature of the population should be ordinarily as asset for Ghana but unfortunately, the huge unemployment situation amongst the youth has made the statistics a curse rather than a blessing. If our young teenage girls find themselves getting pregnant in addition to their unemployed state, the social problem created culminates into crisis with the potential to threaten social cohesion and stability of the state. This is how serious the teenage pregnancy phenomenon is getting”, she stressed.

The young lawmaker urged the need for the country to adopt ways of integrating pregnant girls into the various schools delivery to prevent another challenge of dropouts.

“Every effort to get girls back to school after delivery is as important as the effort made at preventing the pregnancy in the first place. The pregnant teenager is not the problem; the problem is the factors that lead to the pregnancy. That is why we must focus our energies on addressing those factors rather than isolating pregnant teenagers for condemnation”, she emphasised.

In a related development, students and teachers from the Botoku D/A Junior High School in the North Dayi constituency were in Parliament at the invitation of their MP to observe Parliamentary proceedings.

During and interaction, Ms Tetteh encouraged them to take their studies seriously to become useful citizens to themselves, families, communities and the nation at large.

By Christian Kpesese/