A Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), TeenPreg Foundation based in Abura-Dunkwa in the Central Region has launched a movement dubbed: ‘Operation halt Teenage Pregnancy’ with teen mothers to help curtail teenage pregnancy in the district.’

According to Ms Acquah, statistics have shown increasing cases of teen pregnancy and child, early or forced marriages in the country, a situation, which affected the development of adolescent girls and their ability to fulfil their potentials.

Ms Arthur said teen pregnancy and child marriage were hindering the progress of the youth in the region and required collective efforts from stakeholders, especially leaders of various communities.

Hence, the dialogue with relevant stakeholders being its priority to find ways to curb the menace, Ms Arthur told the GNA in an interview after, a clean-up exercise undertaken with the girls at Abura-Dunkwa.

“We want to end the trend of Central Region being the third with teenage pregnancy cases with a chunk of it from Abura-Asebu-Kwamankese (AAK) District,” Ms. Ernestina Akosua Acquah, the Chief Executive Officer of the Foundation, has said.

The Foundation also seeks to educate teen mothers on the benefits of ensuring their total health, wellbeing, and education in improving their lives and status.

She indicated that there was hope after giving birth as a teen mother and thus, should not be a barrier for women to achieve their aspirations and goals.

The Foundation had, therefore, enrolled about 400 teen mothers into various primary and Junior High Schools to continue their education while others have been engaged as apprentices in hairdressing, sewing and other skills training to equip them with the necessary knowledge to work to improve their standard of living.

On the role of parents in curbing the menace, Ms Arthur proposed a close relationship between parents and their teens to enable them to teach them sex education, especially the dangers of teenage pregnancy.

She also proposed that adolescents should seek knowledge from qualified health personnel, avoid negative peers and lead upright lives.

The CEO of TeenPreg Foundation called for increased awareness of issues of teenage pregnancy amongst parents and young people to help curb the menace.

She explained that young girls needed to know their reproductive rights to fight for them and the stakeholders’ involvement could help in achieving the goal

Ms Arthur appealed to various stakeholders including NGOs to join and support the Foundation to achieve its objective of ensuring better lives for teen mothers in the country.

A Public Health nurse at the AAK District Government Hospital, Mercy Biney Quansah urged teen mothers to be focused and abstain from unprotected sex to avoid getting pregnant again.

She advised them to never consider abortion as an option but seek education and counselling from health officials to end the rate of maternal deaths in the country.