March 11, 2016



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 schools.

Term teenager is one who is between the ages of 13-19. A girl getting pregnant within these ages is considered as teenage pregnancy.

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 deliveries.

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 in school.

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 prematurely. the 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 whole too.



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