The Upper East Regional Directorate of the National Youth Authority (NYA) has inaugurated the Talensi Youth Parliament with a call on members to work towards ending teenage pregnancy in the district.
The youth were charged to take advantage of the neutral platform to deliberate on issues concerning development.
Statistics from the Ghana Health Service indicate that the region recorded 6,533 cases of teenage pregnancy with Talensi recording 564, placing third among the 15 municipal and districts assemblies in the region.
Within the first quarter of 2021, the region again recorded 1,639 teenage pregnancies, with Talensi recording 162, placing second among the districts.
Mr Francis Takyi-Koranteng, the Regional Director, NYA, called on the youth to prioritise issues regarding teenage pregnancy to help intensify education to reduce the canker.
He said the NYA was committed to addressing challenges affecting youth development and contributing to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals.
The Youth Parliament is 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,” Mr Takyi-Koranteng said.
“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.”
Ms Estella Abazesi, the Talensi District Director of the Ghana Health Service, said 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 ended up contracting Sexually Transmitted Infections and other complications.
Ms Abazesi called for the strengthening of the adolescent health desks at the various health facilities in the district to make them youth friendly.
The move would help provide the right sexual and reproductive health information to the youth.
She appealed to the traditional authorities to join in the fight against teenage pregnancy by regulating the “starting and closing times of parties and other functions.”
That, she said, would ensure the youth did not stay out late at functions and indulge in immoral activities.
Hajia Adisa Emelia Abdulai, the Talensi District Director of the Ghana Education Service, advocated the involvement of men and boys in the sexual and reproduction health education drive to appreciate the problem and work towards curbing it.