North Tongu recording more child mothers

An increasing number of primary school girls in the South Tongu District are becoming nursing mothers.

The babies of 18 such girls below 16 years in one school either go home during break period to breastfeed their babies or have them brought to the school to be breastfed.

Mama Adokua Azawogbe Dumenya of the District Directorate of Education Guidance and Counselling said this at the inauguration of 27 Para-Legals trained by the Federation of International Women Lawyers (FIDA) with support from the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) to help some of the social problems in the district.

Mama Dumenya, the Paramount Queen of the Volo Traditional Area, said nine other primary school girls were pregnant, one of whom is in Primary two.

She said hospital records showed that in 2008, 304 basic school girls, four of whom are aged between eight and 10, attended ante-natal clinic in the district.

Mama Dumenya said in most cases the paternity of the babies could not be established because those mentioned as the prospective fathers denied responsibility.

Mama Dumenya urged parents and communities to exercise effective supervision and care of their young girls to prevent them from becoming wayward and childhood mothers.

Mr Bawa Faisal, Head of Programmes of FIDA, said the Para-Legals would do advocacy, awareness creation and sensitization on human rights, rights of the child and women, adolescent sexual reproductive and child health.

He said they would also tackle harmful cultural practices and mediate in minor cases and refer those of criminal nature to the appropriate authorities.

The same programme had already taken place in Akatsi, Hohoe, Kpando and Ho in the Volta Region.

Topics treated during the training include sex and gender, reproductive health, women and child rights, domestic violence, mediation, advocacy, counselling techniques, legal ethics and terminologies.

Miss Benedicta Laryea, Programme Officer of FIDA, said harmful cultural practices affecting women’s reproductive health, property ownership and violation of women and children’s rights remained common problems needed to be eliminated.

She asked communities to assist the Para-Legals, made up of traditional rulers and retired public servants, to achieve success.

Source: GNA

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