Naana Egyiriba Idun-Acquah, the Adolescent Focal Person at Tema General Hospital, has revealed that the facility has recorded an increase in teenage pregnancy cases. This was disclosed during a free health and education exercise organized in Tema Community 12 to enhance the well-being of residents.
According to Madam Idun-Acquah, parents are not educating their adolescent children on sex education, which is essential for the 10 to 19-year-old age group who are in the “curious about sex” stage. She advised parents to build a bond with their children, making it easier to discuss sex education with them. This would help children fight the urge to experiment with sex as pregnancy does not require multiple instances but just one act.
The Adolescent Focal Person explained that teenage pregnancy has many health consequences, such as pre-eclampsia, a blood pressure (BP) illness, and excessive bleeding after birth that can easily result in death. Due to the immaturity of their bodies, the adolescent age group is not mature enough to cater to the body’s needs during pregnancy, which leads to various health issues, emotional distress, social stigma, and economic problems.
Madam Idun-Acquah also disclosed that some parents punish their girl child for being pregnant by making her do more hours of chores and refusing to provide her with money for feeding. She emphasized that nutrition and rest are critical to the survival of a pregnant woman, and therefore, parents should show compassion and support expectant mothers until they deliver.
To address the issue of teenage pregnancy, the Tema General Hospital administers free sex education to adolescents. Madam Idun-Acquah urged parents to take advantage of this opportunity to educate their children on sex education.