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“Access to sexual education sure way to reduce teenage pregnancy”

Mr Maxwell Kotie, the Assin South District Health Promotion Officer, says access to accurate education on Sexual and Reproductive Health Right (SRHR) is a sure way to reduce teenage pregnancy.
He said though society refrained from sexual education, it had become necessary for parents to discuss sexual health and related issues with their children to help them make informed decisions.
He was speaking at a day’s youth dialogue series on gender equality, SRHR and Gender-Based Violence (GBV) for young people in second circle institutions.
The National Youth Authority (NYA) organized the dialogue with support from the Central Regional Coordinating Council (CRCC) and funded by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
“In this district alone, the Women In Fertility Age (WIFA) project targets around 127,267 of which a total of 74,833 forms part of adolescents between 10 and 19, representing 59 per cent.”
“The statistics should tell you why we are very particular about the youth; you are so important to us because your future determines the fate of our region and nation as a whole,“ he said.
Mr Kotie noted that sexual drives increased in the pubertal stages of the adolescents’ life and hence there was the need for them to exercise restraint and self-control and urged them to abstain from all sexual relations.
Mr Emmanuel Ofosu,  Central Regional Director of the NYA, explained that the youth formed greater resource for humanity because of their energy, idealisms and fresh views, yet they were vulnerable.
He said the lack of quality sex education could have both short and long term consequences on their lives, including unwanted pregnancies, induced abortions, and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI).
Speaking on STIs, Mr Michael Tagoe, SRHR advocate from the Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG), cautioned the youth that STIs could lead to urethral stricture, infertility, epididymitis, prostatitis, cancers and death in both males and females.
He mentioned Syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhoea, candidiasis, genital warts, cancroid, herpes and a host of others as some of the most common STIs.
Mr Tagoe urged them to abstain or better still be faithful to their faithful sexual partners and not share sharp objects with others.
For his part, Mr Richard Boadi Twum, a representative of the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU), cautioned all against the criminalities involved in sexual offences like rape, incest, defilement and several others.
 “Sexual offences are classified under the first-degree felony and that should tell you how serious the law is against sexual abuse of women, if you’re caught up with the law, you will lose your freedom and waste some quality years of your life in prison,” he cautioned.
 He urged parents not to cover up sexual offences as it was both illegal and criminal, adding that “help us raise our country’s standard by being each other’s keeper, report cases and let the law punish culprits so that justice could be served hot without bias.”

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