Some teenage girls within the Upper East Region willingly exchange their bodies to enable them to fund profligate lifestyles which, hitherto, they [the teenage girls] could not have afforded.
The girls are said to be exchanging their bodies for top-of-the-line mobile phones, fashionable clothing and footwear, expensive motorbikes as well as meals that elicits a rather contorted appeal of luxury; for example, ‘indomie.’
Because the youngsters have not been properly educated about their sexual and reproductive health issues, they fall victim to teenage pregnancies.
This came to light when Patrick Anamoo, the Upper East Regional Secretary for the Coalition of Health spoke at A1 Radio’s roundtable discussion about the causes and effects of teenage pregnancies and the role stakeholder could play to address the social menace.
“The girls want to eat indomie. They want to use iPhones but they cannot afford it. So they go to the guys. The guys at the mines can afford it. They will buy the honda for them and they [the girls] would move in town.”
“These are the ground factors that affect the girls. I have my daughter and I cannot even afford pad of her. Meanwhile, the guy there can afford the pad and even let the girl eat indomie 24/7, what are you talking about? It will take a disciplined parent to let your child stay away from such influences,” he said.
Mr. Anamoo stressed that it is incumbent on parents to strive to provide adequately for their children and also supervise them properly so that the children do not stay out at odd hours.
He continued to say that while the numbers may look alarming, “Mark, it would shock you to know that the cases that are not even recorded are more. We just need to continue to do more as stakeholders.”
“Technology has become a problem, poverty has always been there. But I really do not buy into the poverty idea because these days, it [finances of families] better than when we were growing up.”
The round table discussion was occasioned by a feature, Trapped on the Motherhood Web, written and produced by A1 Radio’s Moses Apiah with support from the Youth Harvest Foundation.
A survey by the Ghana Health Service (GHS) indicated that between 2016 and 2020 more than half a million Ghanaian girls aged 10 to 19 years were pregnant. The figure indicates that an average of over 111,000 teen pregnancies are recorded per year.
In the Upper East Region, statistics from the Service also indicated that in 2020 a total of 6,533 cases of teenage pregnancies were recorded. In 2021, the Catholic Health Service of the Navrongo-Bolgatanga Diocesan Development Organisation also recorded over 5,000 teenage pregnancies within 10 months. The Bolgatanga Municipality recorded 11 percent of teenage pregnancies in 2020. This increased to 12 percent in the first half of the year 2021. The Sherigu Health facility recorded 25.7 percent of the overall figure while the Sumbrungu Health Centre recorded 22 percent of teenage pregnancies.
Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana