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Regional News Wed, 27 Nov 2002

Suhum records more teenage pregnancies

Koforidua (Eastern Region) -- BETWEEN January and June this year, the total of 321 cases of teenage pregnancy were recorded in the Suhum-Kraboa-Coaltar District of the Eastern Region. The number represents more than half of a total of 601 teenage pregnancy cases which were recorded in the district last year.

According to a communique issued at the close of a four-day workshop on ?Adolescent Reproductive Health?, the more worrying aspect of the trend is that close to two-thirds of the pregnant teenagers are unmarried.

The workshop, organised by the Policy Project of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for the Suhum-Kraboa-Coaltar Reproductive Health Network brought together 26 members from the Ministries of Education, and Health, Social Welfare, National Youth Council, traditional and religious groups as well as artisans to discuss strategies to improve adolescent reproductive health in the district.

The network, according to the communique also identified higher school-dropout rates among adolescent females than their male counterparts, both at the primary and JSS levels of education as a major contributing factor to the high rate of teenage pregnancy.

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Earlier, the Eastern Regional Population Officer, Mr Kofi Abinah, urged district chief executives to give priority to population concerns and integrate them into their respective development programmes to help improve the living standards of members of their communities.

He also mentioned access to reproductive health services, poverty reduction, HIV/AIDS prevention as well as the need to widen and increase local resource base for population programmes.

The District Chief Executive of Suhum-Kraboa Coaltar, Mr M. K. Mensah, expressed concern about the spate of teenage pregnancy among the youth in the area which he said also poses health hazards including premature delivery, low birth weight and sexually transmitted diseases to victims.

Mrs Kate Parkes, who read a statement from the Policy Project, urged participants to work hard to ensure that up-to-date information on adolescent reproductive health reaches the district assembly to enable it to take action to bring about improvement in the needs of the adolescents.

Source: graphic
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