Available data at the Ghana Health Service (GHS) shows that a total of 25,285 teenage girls got pregnant in the Eastern Region over the past two years.
Six hundred and sixty-nine (669) of these teenage mothers were aged between 10 and 14 years.
The Nsawam-Adoagyiri Municipality recorded the highest number of pregnancies – in excess of 3,000 – during the period.
Mrs Evelyn Owusu-Akyaw, an official of the GHS, made this known at a meeting held by the regional child and family welfare policy implementation committee in Koforidua to discuss matters relating to the protection and growth of children.
She hinted that about 3,000 teenage pregnancies were recorded during the first quarter of this year, and said the figure could be higher considering the fact that not everybody would report to the health facilities.
To help reverse the trend and enable the young girls to focus on their education, she said that the GHS had set up ‘adolescent corners’ in all the facilities to deal exhaustively with adolescent issues.
Again, it had been working together with the Ghana Education Service (GES) on the formation of adolescent clubs in schools to educate the young people on reproductive health and discourage them from having sex at an early age.
She also spoke of plans to aid those with mobile phones to ask questions and adequately access information on sexual and reproductive health online.
Mr Anthony Dontoh, Regional Director of the Department of Children, noted that teenage pregnancy, apart from its serious health implications, was also fuelling dropout rate among school girls.
About 90 per cent of girls in basic and junior high schools who get pregnant do not return to school after giving birth, with some of them getting married off.
Mr Dontoh called for parents to be more responsive to their children’s needs and ensure their proper upbringing.