Teenage pregnancy: The burden lies on Ghanaian teenagers
Masahudu Ankiilu Kunateh, Ghanadot
Accra, May 6, Ghanadot - The
prevalence of teenage pregnancy has become very common in the
Ghanaian society, especially among youth who are at the
Primary and Junior High School (JHS) levels of education.
At the just ended Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE),
pupils had no choice than to take their pregnancies to the
examination centres to write their final examinations.
Also, some had to be there a couple of days after giving birth,
while some gave birth in the examination halls. This sordid
situation is an annual affair among teenage girls in Ghana.
At first, the notion was that teenage pregnancy often happens
among teenagers who have no education background and no parental
guardians; however, that impression
seems to be wrong, as the culprits of late are those in basic
Term teenager is one who is between the ages of 13-19. A girl
getting pregnant within these ages is considered as teenage
In Ghana, teenage pregnancy occurs among ages as low as 13, when
these unfortunate teenagers have no knowledge as to how to go
about things concerning the pregnancy and not also fully
developed to produce a child.
During the 2009 BECE, two teenage nursing mothers were among the
thousands of candidates taking the examinations in the Ho
municipality in the Volta Region.
One was 13 years and the other 15, and they were all determined
to write and pass the examinations. Such cases were reported by
the Ghanaian media across the length and breadth of the country.
Teenagers in such situation, due to financial and societal
problems fail to undergo good nutritional therapy and ante-natal
cares, to enable them to have safe
Apart from the loss of economic gains for the
community, the country also loses the
potential of having future
leaders because of these teenage pregnancies.
After the birth of the baby, in some cases, some are not able to
continue their schooling. And even when they do, they are
not able to live normal life they were
used to or excel academically
Outside school, the mother being a
child will find it difficult raising the child and some people
will take advantage of that to call
her names which are unprintable.
At certain times, because she is always angry and abhored
by the society, she tends to vent her anger on the child. This
will lead to lack of communication, tenderness, care and love
between the mother and child. This will eventually
carry serious consequences
for the child.
Economically, owing to the mother dropping out of school
child will not have necessary economic support. If a girl,
she will begin to seek help from elsewhere, especially
from men, and might end up getting pregnant like her mother at
a tender age too.
The vicious cycles of poverty
continues. Her chances of becoming a
prostitute or a criminal increases, all because her mother was a
victim of tenage pregnancy.
The government and civil society organizations can go on with
their campaigns but it up to the Ghanaian youth to make a
decision. Teenage pregnancy is gradually devastating the future
of the youth and the country as a