Stakeholders propose stiffer punishment for parents of pregnant teenage girls

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Assin Sibinso(C/R), June 18, GNA – Chiefs and opinion leaders in Assin Sibinso in the Assin South District of the Central Region are considering stiff punishment for parents of pregnant teenage girls.
      According to them, parental irresponsibility was a major contributory factor compelling innocent teenagers into amorous relationships leading to pregnancies.
      Teen pregnancy, they said, was a development issue rooted in poverty and other factors and therefore the move sought to compel parents who shirk their responsibilities, to provide the needs of their children.
      It formed part of strategies by the community to curb the surging menace of teen pregnancy in the District, which recorded a total of 501 teen pregnancies, representing 18 percent of all pregnancies in the Assin South District in 2018.
      They described the figure as “unacceptable” and “worrying” and indicated that the future of young girls in the District was in jeopardy.
      Speaking at the inauguration of the “Time with Grandma and Grandpa” at Assin Sibinso, Nana Brewu, the caretaker chief of the Town, reiterated the need for parents to keep eagle eyes on their children, especially teen girls.
      The ‘Time with Grandma’ is a drama series, which is aired on radio or acted at theatres and community centres to educate the youth on reproductive health issues.
      The programme is being facilitated by the Ghana Health Service (GHS) and supported by the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA).
      The grandma and grandpa team are expected to implement the programme at the end of the training in their various Districts to help the adolescents get over the challenges of adolescence.
      “We are obviously not happy the way our young girls are getting pregnant just after completing JHS. So we are mounting massive education to encourage parents to take responsibility of their children or if their girls get pregnant, we are going to punish them,” Nana Brewu stated.

      He pledged support for the Time with Gradmaa and Grandpa programme, saying it would go a long way to reduce teenage pregnancy and called on parents to embrace it.
      Mrs. Gladys Oppon, Assin South District Public Nurse, encouraged parents to build strong bonding and communicate with their teen girls in a way that would allow them to comfortably share their problems with them.

      She attributed the high teen pregnancy rate in the area to lack of role models and the low acceptance for family planning due to some long held misconceptions.
      She said teenage pregnancy had a long term effect on girls, society and the nation at large and pleaded with the District Assembly to come up with bye-laws to check the menace.
      While calling for stiffer punishment for men and boys who impregnated the young girls, Mrs. Oppon advised young girls to desist from indulging in pre-marital sex.
      She further called for a strong collaboration between parents, traditional authorities, teen girls and other stakeholders to address the issue.

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