Central Region Fights Adolescent Pregnancies; Recorded 10,301 Last Year
The Central Regional Department of Gender has initiated moves to improve parental skills in a bid to enhance parent-adolescent relationships and reduce adolescent pregnancies in the region.
Last year alone, the region recorded 10,301 adolescent pregnancies.
The Regional Director of the Department of Gender, Ms Richlove Amamoo, said the large number was bad news for the region and the development of girls and every effort would be made to reduce it.
Ms Amamoo speaking at a training workshop for 80 participants including parents and opinion leaders who are members of the Community Parents Network Advocacy Group (COPNAG) at Saltpond.
She noted that good parent-adolescent relationships in moulding the character of the adolescents was crucial and would be promoted to support the fight to reduce the high incidence of adolescent pregnancies in the region.
The participants were selected from five districts: Assin South, Komenda Edina Eguafo Abrem, Ekumfi, Mfantseman and Ajumako Enyan Essiam and will serve as change agents in the communities in promoting healthy parent-adolescent relationships through the COPNAGs.
The COPNAG is a United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) sponsored project set up in communities to equip parents with effective parental skills to help them mould children into responsible adults.
It also targeted at building stronger parent-adolescent bonds that promote stronger family systems.
“Many of our young people are having sex with people because they are hungry. A lot of the young people I have interacted with indicate they have sexual relationships in exchange for tokens and gifts for their basic needs. If parents develop more interest in the wellbeing of their children and adolescents in particular, many of the problems would be solved,” she said.
Ms Amamoo said so far the department had 15 COPNAG communities and was working to establish six more.
Involving men and boys
She said to help reduce the incidence of defilement, rape and consequently adolescents pregnancies, the department had also established Men and Boys Advocacy clubs to help them to adopt more responsible sexual behaviour while reducing the incidence of sexual abuses.
Don’t shirk responsibilities
The Central Regional Director of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Mr Tetteh Tuwor, advised the participants not to shirk their parental responsibilities, saying it was an offence under the law.
He said every child had the right to life, health, education, shelter and the basic necessities, adding that it was the responsibility of the parents to provide these needs for the healthy development of the child.
Mr Tuwor said children also had the right to respect, dignity and liberty and urged parents to seek to provide the emotional needs and support for their children, particularly adolescents.
The Central Regional UNFPA Focal Person, Mr David Allan Paintsil, said parents had very essential roles in developing the next generation of the country and urged them to work at building effective communication between themselves and their adolescents to help understand them and support them.