More teen girls becoming mothers in Assin Bereku
Mr Shadrack Ayan-Acquah, the Assemblyman for Bereku Electoral Area in the Assin North District of the Central Region has called on Ghanaians to marshal efforts and resources to radically reduce the scourge of teenage pregnancies in the community.
The situation, he explained, had brought additional economic burden on teen mothers as their parents who mostly engaged in subsistent farming earn very little to cater for the needs of their daughters before, during and after child-birth.
Mr Ayan-Acquah who was speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency at Bereku observed that most of the men who impregnated the girls were boys of the same age and few unscrupulous adults most of whom could not provide for their upkeep.
He expressed regret at the increasing numbers of pregnant girls of school-going age, adding that, due to the high poverty rate in the area, some men lured the girls with money and materialism and ended up impregnating them.
“It is unfortunate that more teen girls who should have been in school preparing for their Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) are now preparing to become adolescent premature-mothers,” he said.
This, according to him, has resulted in a high drop-out rate in the area for young girls, resulting in a vicious cycle of poverty, illiteracy, unemployment and low self-esteem.
The Assemblyman said the situation was as a result of lack of sexual education among teenagers in the area.
He promised to ensure that any man found to have impregnated a girl of school-going age will be sanctioned.
Mr Ayan-Acquah called on parents of the community to take good care of their children, especially the girl-child by providing their needs and not to allow them to roam or depend on the benevolence of some self-seeking men.
He warned that it was wrong for some parents to allow their children to stay out of the house for too long in the night, which could lead to teenage pregnancy, drug abuse and other social vices.
The Assemblyman advised parents and girls in the community who did not control themselves to opt for family planning services to protect and prevent pregnancies.
He advised students, especially the girl-child to let teenage pregnancy be a thing of the past by sticking to their books, learn hard and come out with flying colours to reach greater heights.
“The only way young people could pursue their dreams and see them materialised is when they work hard towards it through studying well and not indulging in practices that they are not supposed to,” he added.
He appealed to institutions, agencies and parents to put in place stringent measures to reverse the trend and noted that education was the only way to break away from poverty to become responsible adults in future.