Mrs Samira Bawumia, wife of the Vice President, has expressed concern about the rate of pregnancy among adolescent girls in Ghana.
Though adolescent pregnancies declined from 12.1 percent in 2015 to 11.8 percent in 2016, Mrs Bawumia said the rate needs further reduction if Ghana is to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 5 which targets gender equality and women empowerment by 2030.
Mrs Bawumia said this while addressing the National Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health Advocacy forum in Kumasi.
The progamme, themed “Preventing Adolescent Pregnancy – A Shared Responsibility”, brought together stakeholders in the health sector to discuss and address issues affecting adolescent sexual and reproductive health.
With a the population of five million people in the Ashanti Region, 21.8 per cent constitute adolescents. In 2016, 395 teenagers got pregnant out of which 323 were minors between the ages of 10 and 17.
Mrs Bawumia bemoaned what she termed the high rate of teenage pregnancy and emphasized the need to prioritize the health of adolescents, who constitute 29.3 per cent of the country’s population.
She called for the creation of a safe and supportive environment for adolescents to access appropriate information on sexual and reproductive health.
The Director-General of Ghana Health Services, Dr Anthony Nsiah-Asare, expressed the hope that the launch of a five-year National Adolescent Health Service Policy and Strategy would help achieve the overall health sector goals for adolescents and young people.
Ashanti regional minister, Simon Osei-Mensah asked for collective effort towards addressing adolescent pregnancy to secure the future of most girls.
By Ibrahim Abubakar|TV3|3news.com|Ghana