Health News of Sat, 13 Jan 20180
Queen mothers urged to fight HIV/AIDS, teenage pregnancy
The Paramount Queen Mother of Ningo, has asked queen mothers and opinion leaders to join in the fight to dissuade teenage girls from indulging in sexual impropriety.
“I want to use this medium to appeal to the queen mothers and opinion leaders; we should get involve; we should educate our girls; the girls are our future. If we are not around they would be there for us,” she said.
Naana Dugbakuwor Dugba said this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on the sidelines of the Public Hearing on the Medium Term Development Plan (MTDP) of the Ningo Prampram District Assembly (NPDA) to transform the District into an industrial and economic zone within Greater Accra.
Reacting to the high HIV/AIDS prevalence and teenage pregnancy rate as presented by the planning officer of the District during the hearing, she said, “The issue of teenage pregnancy is really becoming a torn in our flesh.”
She observed how those in authority could not control the girls because “sometimes you try to talk to them and it ends up differently, but we are trying our best.”
She added that, “We collaborate with some nurses and teachers to educate them to know the consequences. It gets to a stage where you need to know about your sex, what sex is and what it would do to you as a teenager.”
She said even though the prevalence rate had been on the rise, much education was going on so they were gradually gaining control over it.
She however observed that sexual indiscretion was not only peculiar to the Ningo Prampram District “but it’s something that cuts across the various communities in the nation, and therefore the need to come together as queen mothers to fight it.”
She said that even though parents were trying to protect their girls, it was necessary for them to educate their children concerning sex at home, adding that “it’s not supposed to be a taboo to talk about sex with our girls, so they will know what to do and prevent teenage pregnancy.”
The District Chief Executive (DCE) of Ningo Prampram, Mr. Jonathan Teye Doku, explained that if HIV and teenage pregnancy prevalence rate were high in the District, it did not mean the phenomenon was on the ascendency in the District, “But we have resolved to do whatever we will to get the prevalence rate down.”
He added that, “Ningo Prampram has become a cosmopolitan area with a lot of people moving in so it is not as if it is the natives only who represent the high prevalent rate, but there are a lot of people from outside the District who contribute to the figures due to the fast growing nature of the District.”
It was estimated by the planning officer that HIV infection rate kept rising with 190, 200 and 308 cases in 2014, 2015 and 2016 respectively.
Additionally, teenage pregnancy in the District was 13.5% higher than the national 11.8% and the Regional average of 6.1