Teenage Mothers Livelihood Project Launched In Kumasi

November 18, 2021 By 0 Comments

A social intervention programme targeted at safeguarding teenage girls against becoming adolescent mothers with its concomitant socio-economic challenges has been launched in Kumasi by the National Youth Authority (NYA), as part of activities climaxing the Africa Youth Day.

Labelled ‘Teenage Mothers Livelihood Project’, it is aimed at eradicating teenage pregnancy or significantly reduce the prevalence, as well as any other issues affecting the development of teenage girls.

About 150 selected teenage mothers for the pilot project are to be supported by the NYA and the Department of Social Welfare to undergo apprenticeship in any vocation of their choice and to assist those of them who are still interested in education to go back to school.

In line with this, the NYA, with a technical support from the Ghana Health Service and the Asokwa Municipal Assembly, has established an Adolescent Health Corner at the Youth Center with professional nurses in charge offering guidance and counselling to young people on their sexuality.

The NYA Regional Director, Mr. George Orwell Amponsah lamented that in the 2020 alone, Ghana recorded 107,023 cases of teenage pregnancy.

The alarming part of it, he said, was that the Ashanti region topped the regional breakdown chart with 17,865 cases which represent 16.2 percent of the national figure, and almost twice the number of teenage pregnancy cases recorded in the Eastern region which came after Ashanti with 10,865 cases, representing 10.1 percent.

He said even though the population of the region is relatively higher in terms of other regions, it bears a higher proportion of the teenage pregnancy cases compared to the ratio of the national population figures, which is the cause for alarm in the region.

The Regional Director said reportage of sexual conduct of young people in the media has been generally negative with or without intent and argued that adolescence is the most curious and exciting period in the life of everyone when sexual fantasies are seen as fun without thinking of any realities like teenage pregnancy surrounding it and therefore charged journalists to be mindful of context whenever reporting on about young people and their sexual behaviours.

Ms. Hannah Amponsah, the Ashanti Regional Girls Education Officer, was worried that the country recorded a total of 555,575 teenage pregnancies between 2016 and 2020, and Ashanti region alone topped the chart with 89,856 cases within the period and stated that perhaps the abstinence policy by the GES seemed not to be yielding the needed results and advocated the need for stakeholders to revisit sex education in schools policy once again.

Madam Aba Oppong of Rights and Responsibility Initiative Ghana, who chaired the launch, emphasised that it was a crime for any man to have sex with girls below the age of sixteen and added that “society must allow the girls to develop into maturity before they start sleeping with them”.

From Thomas Agbenyegah Adzey, Kumasi