The Upper East Regional Directorate of the National Youth Authority (NYA) has called on the youth to be concerned about increased cases of teenage pregnancy and recommend Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (ASRHR) in their communities.
Mr Francis Takyi-Koranteng, Regional Director of the NYA who admonished the youth observed that teenage pregnancies in recent years was on the rise in the region and attributed the cause to lack of accurate information on sexual and reproductive health and rights among adolescents.
He said sexual and reproductive health education was key to curbing the pregnancies and noted and the youth had critical roles to play in educating their peers and making great influence on their sexual life.
The Regional Director made these known at a review meeting of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) advocates including 50 young people from six districts.
It was organized by NYA) in collaboration with the Regional Coordinating Council as part of the implementation of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and Government of Ghana a five-year adolescents and reproductive health rights project.
The project sought to empower young people from Builsa South, Kassena-Nankana West, Bongo, Talensi, Nabdam and Bawku West Districts to act as peer educators to contribute to sensitizing their respective communities on sexual and reproductive health and rights for a reduction in teenage pregnancy, child marriage and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs).
Mr Takyi-Koranteng said poverty was identified as one of the major factors that compelled the adolescents to fall victim and urged the youth to identify viable economic ventures to empower them to be able to fend for themselves.
This, he said, when the youth were economically stable, would be able to stand for their rights and it would go a long way to prevent them from indulging in risky behaviours that could lead to teenage pregnancies and other sexually related problems.
Mrs Mary Azika, a Public Health Nurse at the Bolgatanga Municipal Health Directorate, said parents needed to pay attention to the changes in their adolescent children and always find time to speak to them about their sexual and reproductive health life.
She explained that apart from the need for parents to develop effective communication mechanisms with their adolescent children, parents needed to always endeavour to provide the basic needs of their children especially the girls to prevent them from giving themselves to men in exchange for money.
The Public Health Nurse also called on authorities to take urgent steps to the emergence of child prostitution in the region and explained that it was only small girls within the ages of 14 and 15 years were usually involved in the act.