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UE: Chief of Kotintaabig worried about rise in teenage pregnancies

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Naba Bileehsong Lagwongt, Chief of Kotintaabig; a community in the Sakote Traditional Area has expressed some disquiet about the continuous surge in the cases of teenage pregnancies in the Nabdam District and the region as a whole.

Naba Lagwongt explained that the situation may have arisen because of the cultural gaps in Sexual Reproductive Rights and Health (SRHR) education. The chief was also worried about the infiltration of foreign culture into the traditional setting.

He said this when he spoke on A1 Radio’s Day Break Upper East Show.

“In our culture, we do not have that aspect of educating our people when they reach adolescence. The moment they [adolescents] get to a certain age, they need to know about the dangers of sex. They need to know that at this age, if I get myself involved in sex, what will happen. That is a gap we have identified. When it comes to that area, we feel shy about educating our children”.

“We also identified moral education as a problem. In our days, it was a compulsory course taught at the basic level. The moral education should be strengthened at the basic level so that people will begin to know the wrongs associated with; or rather, what will happen to them when they engage in sexual behaviours at that age”.

“Some of them blamed poverty as a cause of the issue [teenage pregnancy]. Because parents cannot afford certain things for their wards, people take advantage of them,” he said.

Naba Bileehsong Lagwongt was of the opinion that the Ghanaian society needed to go back to the extended family system. This he said would allow for children to grow in societies where they can be disciplined by others.

He also called on traditional leaders across the country to implement stiff punishment for older men who prey on girls of school-going age. He said when more men are held responsible for their actions, it would serve as a deterrent to others.

In an earlier discussion on the same platform, it came to light that girls aged between 12 and 18 are still largely unaware of the negative consequences of sex on their reproductive systems.

This was contained in the Sister for Sister Baseline Survey by the Afrikids; a child rights organisation.

A series of questions were asked related to general information on Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR). They included the knowledge of the respondents on issues of puberty, Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), abstinence, peer pressure on sexual behaviours, relationships, and preventive measures.

The survey found that almost half (42 percent) of the respondents get their information from school teachers followed by their mothers and siblings with 38 percent and 3 percent respectively.

2 percent of the respondents got the information from films and videos.

Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana

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