The Executive Director of the National Population Council (NPC), Dr Leticia Adelaide Appiah has called for a National Campaign on teenage pregnancy, child marriage and unplanned pregnancy.
The campaign, according to her, would address these menaces and improve the health of young girls.
Dr Appiah said this at the celebration of the World Population Day (WPD) themed, “Prioritizing rights and choices, harnessing opportunities, the road to a resilient future for all.”
She said data shows that over 110,000 teenage pregnancies are recorded each year.
She described that as alarming and therefore necessitating a campaign to curb it.
Dr Appiah explained that teenage pregnancies could result in unsafe abortions, HIV/AIDS, child abandonment, high mortalities and morbidities, and long-term consequences.
“This may increase our health care bill and stress our health care workforce and infrastructure. This may also increase our educational bill and contribute to poor educational outcomes and performance. Additionally, it may also increase our unemployment situation among others,” she added.
She urged religious leaders, traditional authorities, and the local government to come up with programmes for the implementation of this important national agenda.
“We need to put our hands, hearts and minds into this agenda to help build the nation we so wish to live in. The teenagers are not talking, they are acting more than talking so they are teaching us what to do. Yes, we must and will talk, but we need to take action too,” she said.
On his part, the Chief Executive Officer of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Dr Bernard Okoe Boye, said the state, as well as civil societies and religious bodies, have roles to play in ensuring planned parenthood in the country.
He disclosed that NHIA had covered the costs related to family planning to encourage planned parenthood.
“NHIA has reimbursed payment for bills of family planning to enable families to make informed choices concerning having children,” he said.
Patience Anaadem, ISD