GES takes steps to curb illegal abortion among school children

The Ghana Education Service has pledged its commitment to help curb the menace of illegal abortion among girls of school going age in the country.

It said there was a pressuring need to allow and open conversations on adolescent reproductive and sexual health for the youth to make informed decisions about their sexuality, sexual rights, and morals.

To discourage illegal abortion, Mrs. Alberta Ayeh, Central Regional Early Children Education Coordinator, said Comprehensive Sex Education (CSE) clubs had been established in schools.

The move, she noted was also to aid discussions on sensitive adolescent tips, discourage unsafe abortions which may lead to death and open up ways they could access safe abortion care.

She was speaking at the first quarter Regional child protection committee meeting.

The meeting called at the instance of the Department of Children under the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, was sponsored by UNICEF.

Formerly, Mrs. Ayeh noted, the GES had no position to talk about abortions or family planning, but it discovered in recent times that parents themselves took their wards to access the service.

“We want to do this to secure the future of these children, we teach them that they have the chance to come to school even if they are pregnant and guide them through every other thing they need to know, we will not sit and loose children to unsafe abortions” she added.

Mrs Beatrice Asirifi , Central Regional Public Health Nurse mentioned Motorists, teachers, fishers, and artisans were behind the never-ending teenage pregnancy records in the Region.

She said these were confirmed through the “Who Got The Teenager Pregnant” initiative established by the Ghana Health Service (GHS) to develop strategies to curb teenage pregnancy in the Region.

Mrs Asirifi was excited about the good news that adolescents had started embracing the idea of accessing family planning and all other adolescent services.

On statistics, she noted this the 2021 statistics of pregnant girls showed that, 43 per cent had completed Primary, 20 per cent were still in primary school 19 percent in the Junior high school (JHS), 20 percent were cohabitating while two percent were already married.

On the way forward, Sergeant Richard Twum , Investigator at the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU) urged parents to take up the responsibility of being sex coaches to their young boys .

She said parents must not shun away from discussing sex and its related issues with their sons adding “don’t leave it for the teacher or the pastor, you may lose your son to the law, eventually.”

Ms Ivy Amartey, Central Regional Director of the Department of Children said seeing to the welfare of children could never be a single responsibility and urged all to contribute to the welfare of every child they met.

She asked parents to be very vigilant and monitor the activities of their children on the internet to prevent them from consuming harmful materials.

The Director further urged all to be watchdogs, report sexual assault, domestic violence, or abuse on children to ensure that the world was a haven for all.

Source: GNA

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