Talensi Youth Parliament inaugurated, charged to end teen pregnancies

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The Upper East Regional Directorate of the National Youth Authority has inaugurated the Talensi Youth Parliament with a call on them to work towards ending teenage pregnancies in the district.

The youth were charged to take advantage of the neutral platform to deliberate on issues concerning the development of the district including teenage pregnancies and collaborate with appropriate stakeholders to curb the phenomenon and to promote socio-economic development.

Teenage pregnancy has become a social development concern in the district and the region as a whole with stakeholders worried about annual reported cases.

Statistics from the Ghana Health Service indicate that the region recorded a total of 6,533 cases of teenage pregnancy with Talensi recording 564, placing third among the 15 Municipal and Districts in the region.

Within the first quarter of 2021, the region again recorded 1,639 teenage pregnancies with Talensi recording 162 and placing second among the districts in the Upper East region.

This, Mr Francis Takyi-Koranteng, the Regional Director, NYA, who spoke at the inauguration, impressed upon the youth to prioritise issues regarding teenage pregnancies to help intensify education to reduce canker.

He said the NYA was committed, in addressing challenges affecting youth development and contributing to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals and noted that the Youth Parliament was meant to mentor the youth in leadership to help hold duty bearers accountable.

“I strongly believe that if they played their roles well, the number of road accidents especially among motorcycle riders in the region, teenage pregnancy cases, and armed robbery incidents will reduce.

“It will also help end chieftaincy, land, and political violence in the country, thereby, making it a peaceful and democratic place for all of us,” he added.

Ms Estella Abazesi, the Talensi District Director of the Ghana Health Service, noted that poverty, parental negligence, and ignorance were among major driving forces that compelled the youth to engage in indiscriminate sex leading to unwanted and teenage pregnancies.

She said some even end up contracting some of the Sexually Transmitted Infections and other complications.

Ms Abazesi called for the strengthening of the adolescent health corners at the various health facilities in the district to make them youth-friendly and added that the move would help provide the right sexual and reproductive health information to the youth.

She charged appealed to the traditional authorities in the area to join the fight against teenage pregnancies by regulating the starting and closing times of parties and other functions like ‘passing out’ to ensure that the youth did not stay out late and indulge in bad behaviours.

Hajia Adisa Emelia Abdulai, the Talensi District Director of the Ghana Education  Service, has advocated the involvement of men and boys in the sexual and reproduction health education drive to appreciate the social problem and work towards curbing it.

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