Member of Parliament (MP) for Kwabre East Constituency in the Ashanti Region, Francisca Oteng Mensah, is advocating the introduction of orthodox pregnancy prevention measures to deal with the increasing rate of teenage pregnancy in the country.
According to Francisca Oteng Mensah, Ghana’s youngest legislator who was elected in 2016, this will ensure that teenage girls, who often bear the brunt, do not dropout of school because of unwanted pregnancies.
The Kwabre East MP maintained that, there is the need for a dispassionate discussion to help find holistic long-term solutions rather than sweeping such critical issues under the carpet.
She made the remarks at an engagement with some staff members of the Our Lady of Grace Senior High School (SHS) at Mampongteng in the Kwabre East District.
She also proposed the distribution of condoms to school girls every weekend to enable them prevent unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
She emphasized that developed countries like the United Kingdom (UK) had used such measures to enhance the sexual reproductive lives of adolescent girls and prevented unexpected pregnancies.
“During my visit to the UK, I observed that some schools were distributing contraceptives and condoms to teenage girls on Fridays to help protect them sexually. It is high time we paid attention to such issues since parents cannot be everywhere with their teenage girls. The use of these contraceptives will also help teenagers not to contract sexual related diseases.”
She appealed to the Ministry of Education (MoE) to adopt such practices or initiate special projects to curb the high rate of teenage pregnancies in Ghana.
Ms. Oteng Mensah also called on teachers to intensify sex education in schools for teenagers.
She stressed that there was also the need for concerted efforts by parents, teachers and other stakeholders to help deal with the menace of teenage pregnancy in Ghana.
There were reports that about fifty-seven thousand 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.
It also indicated that, a total of 9,100 adolescents reportedly got pregnant in the Ashanti Region during the first half of this year.
Three teenage pregnancy related deaths were also recorded in the region during the period.