More than 10.6% of Teenagers Pregnant – The Iceberg Phenomenon. A think piece article
Ghana’s teenage pregnancy rate averaged 11.26% over the past 5 years.
The Ghana Health Services recorded 102,673 teenage pregnancies in 2022 with North East Region recording the highest rate of 15% and the Upper East region with a rate of 14.2%. Over the past three years, 322,121 pregnancies and 24,108abortions were recorded in Ghana.(JoyNews, 2023).
Are these figures representative of the burden of teenage pregnancy in Ghana?
These numbers were teenagers who reported for antenatal care. What about the numbers who did not attend ANC or aborted their pregnancies?
The abortion data represents teenagers who presented for abortion. What numbers were aborted at places other than the health facilities and how many teenagers died from illegal abortions and never reached the health facility?
What are the ramifications of this teenage pregnancy rate on Maternal and Neonatal Mortality, Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV, Healthcare Financing, Comprehensive and Sexual and Reproductive Health Education Programs?
With these figures, why did recent developments to implement Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health education in schools meet vehement demonstrations and disapproval by parents and the general public? Do they not understand these figures?
What actions are the relevant stakeholders taking to alleviate the situation?
What role do the local MSAs and the FGMSA have to play?
By: Aishah Fadila Adamu
JoyNews. (2023). 10.6% of all teenage girls in Ghana got pregnant last year—MyJoyOnline.com. https://www.myjoyonline.com/10-6-of-all-teenage-girls-in-ghana-got-pregnant-last-year/