Abigail Adumolga, a Youth Coordinator at the Youth Harvest Foundation, a Child’s rights and health organisation based in the Upper East Region has indicated that traditional media are partly to blame for the continuous surge in teenage pregnancies across the country.
This is because, on almost a daily basis, scantily dressed women are featured on televisions across the country. Women, among other obscenities, are touted as things in vogue; celebrities; people worthy of celebration.
Because children are very impressionable and obsessively curious during their teenage years, they are tempted to try what they hear through the media. This could lead to teenage pregnancies.
Others, impressed by the wealth of some and material collection of some young ladies are compelled to go and get similar things for themselves. As such, they fall victims to male figures who request for sex in exchange for gifts.
As such, the media is being urged to consider redefining its programming to ensure that audio and visual content that is published does not lead young people astray.
“The media also plays a key role. Radio might be exceptional but when you come to our TVs, what do we see? We see ladies who are half-naked. They dress and the cleavage is showing. It is shown as the trend of the day. Girls are used to advertise cars and other products half-naked.”
“Even until recently, people who were dark were not used for adverts until people started advocating against it. So you would realise that the media is also contributing a great deal; influencing these our young people. You take our celebrities; we adore them and so we think that what they are doing is right and so we want to do the same.”
“Inasmuch as the private sector, GES and GHS are doing their bit, media houses are under-delivering,” she said.
She charged the National Media Commission to properly scrutinise content produced by media organisations.
Madam Adumolga 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 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