Illegal abortion among teenage girls is on the increase in the Ahafo-Ano North District of the Ashanti Region. Health authorities recorded 403 cases in 2009, 491 in 2010 and 497 in 2011, making a total of 1,391.

The District Director of Health, Mrs Belinda Baffoe Bonnie, made this known at a community durbar on unsafe abortion and teenage pregnancies at Dwaaho, near Tepa.

IPAS Ghana, a non-governmental organisation based in Accra, organised the durbar.

Mrs Baffoe-Bonnie appealed to traditional rulers, especially queens, to educate young girls on the dangers of unsafe abortion since chiefs wield enormous influence on the lives of their people.

She asked children to stay away from premature sex and take their education seriously.

The District IPAS Co-ordinator, Nana Yaa Boatemaa, called on parents to invest in the education of their children instead of using their little resources on unprofitable ventures.

She expressed concern about the way some women spend huge monies to purchase expensive clothing when the school fees of their children were in arrears.

The National IPAS Co-ordinator, Mr S.K. Azumah, said the organisation was against early sex because that usually led to abortions.

He stated that many girls who would have become useful citizens of the land had lost their lives through unsafe abortions.

The District Girl-child Education Co-ordinator, Madam Patricia Addo, urged young girls to avoid baits men used to obtain sex.

The Chief of Dwaaho, Nana Owusu Afriyie, who chaired the function, commended the organisation for supporting educational programmes and asked schoolchildren, especially females, to study very hard in school and take good care of themselves.