Chief of Abirem and Acting Kotoku Gyaasehene, Obrempong Kwesi Amoh Kyeretwie I, has expressed worry about rising teenage pregnancies in the Birim North District of Eastern Region.
The communities that the Ghana Education Service (GES) in the District recorded the increase of pregnancies among teenage school girls were Akyem Afosu, Pankese, Amenam, Akyem Akoase, Bramkrom, Nwinso, and Addokrom.
Birim North Girls Education Officer Ms Juliet Ama Akyaa Frempong said statistics gathered indicate that in 2019 the district recorded a total of nine teenage pregnancies as against 17 in 2020.
She added that out of the 17 pregnant school girls, 12 were still pregnant while five were breastfeeding their babies.
The GES revealed the staggering statistics when the Birim North Association of Chiefs met with officers from the Birim North District office of GES to give accounts on activities that had transpired in the past years.
Ms Frempong said investigations carried out by GES about the causes uncovered that the pregnant girls lacked parental care and guidance and that there was also no effective communication between parents and the girls.
The investigations also revealed broken homes as a result of death or marital separation and negative peer influence as being responsible for the increasing number of teenage girls getting pregnant in the district.
She said all the teenage pregnancy cases recorded were in schools within the district and out of the 13 pupils who were absent during the 2020 BECE, one died due to severe illness whilst another also died due to a motor accident.
Ms Frempong also said the girls’ education activities which have been helping to empower the girl child got to a halt owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, escalating the pregnancy situation among school girls.
She said the unit had been conducting home visits and telephone communication to make sure that pregnant girls received effective anti-natal care.
Adding that the unit had compiled contacts of victims for follow-ups to encourage the parents to support the girls to further their education after delivery.
She said the unit had plans of intensifying its sensitization programme on the endemic communities and schools to curb teenage pregnancy cases.
She called on stakeholders to support the pregnant girls to further their education and also ensure their children did not become liabilities to society.