Sissala East District records alarming figures of teenage mothers

Children giving birth constitute 11.5% of deliveries in the 2016 alone at various health facilities in the Sissala East District of the Upper West region according to the district Director of Health services Mr Alex Bapula.

309 of these children between the ages of 13 and 17 years suffered various forms of birth complications, infected with sexually transmitted diseases, increase economic challenges and also faced general ill health.

Mr Alex Bapula was delivering a presentation on the theme:”effects of teenage pregnancy on teenagers at a Sissala East Assembly and UNFPA strategy conference of stakeholder to attempt to arrest the menace in the area.

He has therefore called on the chiefs to pass bylaws to protect children in school and in the community.

The Chiefs have taken the challenge to enforce bylaws as a strategy to curb the growing trend in the area.

Most of the chiefs who spoke after the presentation agreed to take the most unpopular decisions to nib the situation in the bud.

Teenage pregnancy is reportedly gaining notoriety in the district with recent reports suggesting that over 30 female students of the Tumu Senior High School (SHS) were pregnant.

The figure spans from April 2015 to the last week of August 2015 which was third term in the Ghana Education Service (GES) academic calendar for SHSs throughout the country.

It was also established that 8 female students who got pregnant failed to turn up for the just ended term according to the headmaster Alhaji Baba Ahmed who confirmed the increasing cases of pregnancy in the school especially when school is on recess

According to him, most of the girls as a result of their conditions refuse to turn up for school each time a new term commences indicating that about 30 of such cases have so far been recorded.

At the Sissala Youth Forum (SYF), he bemoaned the increasing spate of pregnancy involving students during recess and called for collaborative efforts from various stakeholders to curb the canker that has caught up well with a section of them.

The shocking revelation also comes on the back of reports that a random pregnancy test conducted on female students of a particular single sex school in the Upper West region established that about 32 of them were pregnant.

Discussants at the Sissala Youth Forum believed this has also accounted for the low standards in education in the region and therefore resolved to initiate ways in partnering relevant stakeholders in dealing with the situation.

Alhaji Baba Ahmed hinted that his outfit will also consider carrying out pregnancy tests on female students at the Tumu SHS each time they are about to commence a new term as part of interim measures in reducing these incidents.

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