By: Yvonne Atilego
Queen mothers across the country have resolved to put in place immediate measures to stop teenage pregnancy within their jurisdictions.
The Queen mothers made the pledge at a stakeholder’s facilitation training at Akosombo in the Eastern region.
The pledge comes following statistics from the Ghana Health Service (GHS) which indicates that about 13 teenage pregnancy cases were recorded everyday in Ghana especially in 2020 during the peak period of COVID-19. This data revealed that in 2020, on a daily basis, out of nearly 301 pregnancies recorded in Ghana, 13 were by teenagers.
According to the GHS, Ghana recorded a total of 109,888 teen pregnancies with the lowest girls put in the family way being 10-year-olds. This the Queen mothers described as frightening and noted that pragmatic measures such as periodic engagements on adolescents sexual health and rights is needed to stem the tide.
The Queenmother of Akwamuman, Nana Afrakoma, at the forum said the role of queen mothers is not only to dress in beautiful attires, but are expected to make positive impact in society.
“We have work to do because our children have given us work. Let us all put in our best and when we do that, we will reduce the numbers” Nana Afrakoma, said in Twi.
The Programme Analyst – Communication and Resource Mobilisation at the United Nations Population Fund, Dr. Doris Aglobitse said it is regrettable that all the 16 regions of Ghana, recorded cases of teenage pregnancy. She said Queen mothers play a critical role in society, hence the need to engage them to find a lasting solution to this menace.
The stakeholders engagement training on prevention of teenage pregnancy is under the theme Recognizing Traditional Leaders, especially Queens mothers as strong influencers and Critical partners in CUBE CONVOS Facilitation. It was in collaboration with the Obaapa Development Foundation.
The traditional leaders were taken through the Cube CONVOS where they provide a safe space for adolescent girls for open discussions on their Sexual Reproductive Health rights, Assertiveness, Menstrual Health, teenage pregnancy prevention and violence among others.
The Executive Director of Obaapa Development Foundation, and Nkosuohemaa of Afigya Kwabre Community, Obaapa Adwoa Ankyaa, advised the traditional leaders to actively replicate what they have learnt in their community in order to reduce the statistics.
The MP for Ketu South Dzifa Gomashie encouraged the traditional leaders to network and share ideas, and serve as role models to the young girls. Cube CONVOS kits and sanitary pads were given to the Queen mothers to aid their training when they go back to their communities. They were also presented with certificates of participation.