Mr Ban Ki-moon, United Nations (UN) General Secretary has called for the support of adolescent girls to realise their potential and contribute to the shared future.
Mr Ban Ki-moon made the call on Thursday in a statement to mark World Population Day, which was copied to Ghana News Agency in Accra.
The statement said adolescent girls would become greater force for positive change in society if much attention and resources are devoted to their education, health and well being.
It the focus for this year’s celebration should be on adolescent pregnancy as an estimated 16 million teenage girls who give birth each year never had the opportunity to plan their pregnancy.
“Complications from pregnancy and childbirth can cause grave disabilities, such as obstetric fistula, and are the leading cause of death for these vulnerable young women. Adolescent girls also face high levels of illness, injury and death due to unsafe abortion,” the statement said.
The UN said, girls must be supported to get into primary school to enable them receive good education during their adolescent years.
It said when a young girl is educated, she is more likely to marry later, delay childbearing until she is ready and would have healthier children and earn higher income.
“We must also provide all adolescents with age-appropriate, comprehensive education on sexuality and this is especially important to empowering young women to decide when and if they wish to become mothers.
“In addition, we must provide comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services that cover family planning and the prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV,” the statement said.