Akuapim South records increase in teenage abortions
Mrs Emily Osman, the Akuapim South Municipal Director of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), has said there is an increase in safe abortions performed by qualified medical practitioners in the municipal area.
She stated that in 2021, the percentage of adolescents among clients receiving Comprehensive Abortion Care (CAC) from January to June was 19 per cent, but by 2022, it had risen to 35.7 per cent during the same time period.
Comprehension Abortion Care is a safe abortion performed by a qualified medical practitioner to protect a woman’s physical or mental health, and it is supported by Ghana’s 1985 abortion law.
In an interview, Mrs. Osman told the Ghana News Agency that “adolescent health issues remain a force to battle within the municipality” when asked about the state of teenage pregnancies in Akuapim South.
She said adolescent pregnancy between the ages of nine and twenty among Antenatal Care (ANC) registrants in the municipality for the 2022 half year was 13.6 percent, which was higher than the target percentage of less than 10.
“We did not capture the number of adolescent CAC within the half year as pregnant women, but they came to the facilities for comprehensive abortion care,” she noted.
Mrs Osman observed that if the number of adolescent CACs recorded was added to the number of adolescent pregnancies, then, “Yes, the number of adolescent pregnancies has increased within the first half of this year.”
She added that the number of adolescent pregnancies between the ages of nine and 15 recorded for the 2022 half year had increased by 100 percent over the previous year’s total of four adolescents.
Mrs. Osman said among the areas captured by the municipal health directorate, Aburi, Berekuso, Obotwere, Pakro, Pokrom, and other communities with health facilities, Obotwere emerged as the area with the highest adolescent pregnancy record.
The long-term solution to teenage pregnancies, according to Ms. Angeline Nagertey, the Akuapim South Municipal Director of the Department of Social Welfare and Community Development, is for parents to take control and responsibility for their children.
She observed that most parents in the municipality had given their children too much freedom to operate without any guidance or counselling.
As a result, she charged parents, families, community leaders, and community members to help nurture their children to solve the growing adolescent pregnancy problem.