Teenage Pregnancy and child marriage situation in the Upper East Region is alarming with 45 percent of girls marrying before age 18.
In most communities and ethnic groups in the Upper East Region, Sexual Reproductive Health Rights, remain a taboo topic among adolescents and in the home. This affects the level of knowledge of adolescents on their Reproductive Health Rights, leading to high level of teenage pregnancies, child marriages, unsafe abortion among others.
The Upper East Regional Director of the National Youth Authority, Shaibu Zeblim, made the revelation at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in collaboration with National Youth Authority (NYA) advocacy dialogue on Sexual Reproductive Health Rights in Bolgatanga.
In a recent report by the Regional Health Directorate, the Upper East Region is achieving more than the national target of 12 percent with 15.8 percent of proportion of pregnant women who visited the health facility being teenagers. It has been observed that there is a limited collaboration among various actors delivering Sexual Reproductive Health Rights services and information in the region.
UNFPA and NYA recommends cross sector collaboration and involvement of CSOs in community demand creation efforts as an effective means for achieving results. The Upper East Regional Focal Person for UNFPA, Yvonne Wonchuah, underscored the need for an all inclusive approach to reversing the effects of limited knowledge on Sexual Reproductive Health Rights by all stakeholders.
The Upper East Regional Director of NYA, Shaibu Zeblim has raised a concern that an all hands on deck approach to solving this challenges is the right way.
Participants particularly the youth, called for increased coordination and partnerships between youth-led organizations and networks, young parliamentarians and other young professionals. This is aimed at strengthening capacity and access of young people to hold decision-makers at all levels accountable for commitments they have made towards sustainable development and Universal Health Care.
Story By: Samuel Ayammah.