Act for Change (AfC), a non-governmental organization located at James-Town in the Greater Accra region has organized its annual ‘Forum Train’ with focus on teenage pregnancy.
Present at the ceremony were pupils drawn from some selected 1st cycle schools in the locality.
Mrs. Comfort Kwegyir-Aggrey from the Ghana Health Service in her presentation said, some factors influencing teenage pregnancy was lack of access to information on sexual reproductive health, peer pressure among others.
According to her, globally, it is estimated that 15,000,000 adolescents get pregnant annually.
In Ghana, about 57,000 cases of teenage pregnancies were recorded nationwide in the first half of 2017.
A total of 31 teenage pregnancy related deaths were also recorded during the period.
According to her, 13% of all births delivered are by adolescents and the ages ranges between 14 and 19 years.
Mrs. Kwegyir-Aggrey expressed concern about the high rate at which many a young girl were getting pregnant and dropping out of school.
She admonished parents to have time for their children and educate them so they are not misinformed.
She also spoke against unsafe abortion and encouraged parents to support their teenage daughters when they get pregnant and if possible make them go back to school after delivering.
In explaining the alarming rate of the menace, she said some reasons that lead to teenage pregnancy are: cultural practices, lack of education and information about sexual and reproductive health.
She however advised all and sundry to educate the youth particularly, girls and boys on the usage of contraceptives in order to tackle the menace.
Delivering the welcome address, Programmes Manager for the organization, Samuel Lamptey, said the event was purposely organized to bring young people (In and out of school) and key stakeholders from Ga Mashie to discuss and come up with realistic and applicable solutions to the Teenage Pregnancy increase in James Town and it's environs.
Member of Parliament for the Odododiodoo constituency, Nii Lantey Vanderpuye, encouraged the participants to focus on their education, avoid bad friends, pass their exams and build a better future.
He called on the NGO to develop a long term strategic plan in addressing teenage pregnancy within the constituency.
He charged AfC to move into the schools and organize such events to educate more pupils.
He pledged to offer support to the NGO and further called on the representative from the Ghana Health Service and the NGO to organize a similar forum for parents in the community.
The MP further commended the NGO for taking the bold step to address the issue of teenage pregnancy in the community.
He said the effort will go a long way to help reduce the increasing rate of teenage pregnancy in the constituency.
He however underscored the need for them to intensify their campaign to reach more schools and pupils so the impact would be felt more.
Meanwhile, AfC is preparing to organize a walk on December 23, 2017 to intensify the fight against teenage pregnancy in the community.