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Ending Child Marriage: Teen pregnancy in Central Region drops, Girls more interested in Education


“Teenage pregnancy impedes a country’s ability to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals 3.7 and 5.2, thus, ensuring universal access to sexual and reproductive healthcare services, and achieving gender equality by 2030 respectively”, BMC Public Health (February 2023).
Available statistics from the Ghana Health Service indicate that 10,301 teenage pregnancies were recorded in the Central Region of Ghana in the year 2020.
Rendering the Region third (3rd) of all teenage pregnancies recorded in the country, after Ashanti and Eastern Regions, which recorded 17,802 and 10,865 respectively.

The Central Region stood in the third position for two consecutive years, recording 7,558 teen pregnancies in 2021, including a nine year old girl.

Eventhough the Region saw a drop in numbers, it still retained its position on the country’s teenage pregnancy rate. has gathered that the Central Region moved from  the 3rd position on the teenage pregnancy ladder to the 12th position in 2022.

The success story according to the Central Regional focal person for UNFPA,  Mr David Allan Pentsil is mostly due to the continuous sensitization on importance of Education to especially the girl child.

Teenage pregnancy in the Central Region has been partly attributed to parental neglect, poverty, ignorance and cohabitation among other behaviours.

It is common knowledge that teenage pregnancy deprives many girls from acquiring quality education.

Hitherto, when a schoolgirl got pregnant, that was the end of the person’s education but thanks to the ‘Back to School’ programme introduced by the government of Ghana, a number of school dropouts including teen mothers are now reintegrated into the formal education system.

Blessing Appiah is a first year Senior High School girl in Cape Coast city of Ghana.

She reveals to that her classmate reported to School pregnant and eventhough it didn’t show during the first semester, it was glaring in the second semester.

A situation which hitherto wouldn’t have been encouraged in schools but for the importance of girl child education, she pulled through and has now delivered.

The worrying trend of such phenomenon has attracted the attention of institutions that attach importance to girls education, including Merck Foundation’s ‘More Than A Mother’ project, which seeks among other things to enhance the education of the girl child, to increase their campaign on Ending Child Marriage.

The UNFPA Focal Person for Central Region, David Allan Pentsil disclosed that programmes such as ‘Community Parents Advocacy Network’ introduced by the Department for Gender to sensitize parents on their responsibilities towards their children’s education, especially girls had contributed to the drop in teenage pregnancy in the Central Region of Ghana.

“In order for the boys not to feel neglected, the Department also introduced ‘men and boys advocacy group’ to educate them on the consequences associated with rape, incest among other domestic violence issues”, Mr Allan Pentsil disclosed.

He further stated that ” the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit ( DOVVSU) has been educating students on Domestic violence and child marriage among others so that people will be aware of the sanctions associated with domestic violence and teenage pregnancy related issues”.

The UNFPA Focal Person continued that “,Time with Grandma and Grandpa’, also introduced by the Department of Gender, affords Queen mothers and opinion leaders including teachers, an opportunity to use storytelling plus other means to educate the youth about the causes and effects of teenage pregnancy and sexual reproductive health issues”.

“The resultant effect is the change of mindset amongst the youth towards the importance of Education”, the UNFPA Focal Person for Central Region emphasized.

Matlilda Adjei is a Teacher at a Basic School in Cape Coast.

She disclosed to Gnewsprime’s Georgina Appiah that “every year, a girl gets pregnant in the school. Many of these children are mostly in primary six(6) and Junior High School”.

“Last year (2022), two girls were pregnant prior to the final exams, thus the Basic Education Certificate Examination ( BECE) and one gave birth two days to the exams”.

It is open truth that a number of girls are seen pregnant every year during the BECE.

Back to School

Asked whether the pupils take advantage of the ‘Back to School’ programme, Madam Matilda Adjei stated that “yes many of them do come back to complete the school and continue to the Senior High School”.

She disclosed that ” a girl who got pregnant in primary six, returned to the school to continue her education in  JHS one, after she had delivered her baby. She continued to the Senior High School and now Planning to enter the University”.

Counciling session

The Teacher stated that “the School takes the students through counseling, particularly during ‘worship’ days. We group the students into boys and girls and Female teachers give a talk to the girls and male teachers do same to the boys”.

“Officials from the Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG) also visit the School occasionally to sensitize the girls on Female Reproductive Health issues. They educate them on Family Planning as well”, Matilda Adjei stressed.

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