About half the pregnant women who delivered at the Tema Manhean Health Centre last year were teenagers, including a 13 old class six pupil.

Available records at the health facility show that of the 941 women who delivered at the place, 434 were teenagers. From January, this year to date, 880 delivery Cases have been recorded of which 350 involved teenagers.

Mrs. Delali Agbefe, Principal Nursing Officer of the centre, who disclosed this to the Times in an interview, said some of the girls were either impregnated by schooling boys of the same ages or apprentices who could not care for them and the babies.

According to Mrs Agbefe, majority of the girls had either dropped out of school or had never been to school and worked as fishmongers in the populous fishing community.

Most of the young mothers, she said, either lived with relatives or other persons because their parents could not care for them or were from broken homes.

Mrs. Agbefe said the children of the young mothers were generally malnourished and anaemic, because of lack of proper care.

“Yet some leave their children under the care of older fishmongers only to become pregnant again,” she said.

Mr. Agbefe said the health centre, by way of support had been feeding the children every Thursday and treating them free of charge.

Apart from that the centre has intensified its reproductive health education programmes in schools and she appealed to the school authorities to complement the centre’s effort by giving the children sex education.

She asked television stations to censor x-rated films before showing them because they had negative effects on children.

The Tema Mantse Nii Adjei Kraku II, expressed concern about the development which, he said, breeds street children and attendant social vices.

He said the Tema Traditional Council had set up a committee made up of clan representatives and officials of the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit of the Police Service to educate the members of the community on ways to reverse the social canker.

Nii Kraku called on parents and guardians to assume full responsibility for their children and wards to stem waywardness.

He advised the youth to focus on their education, learn employable skills and develop themselves before going into marital relationships.

Source: G.B. Gibbah (Times)

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