Mrs. Grace Eddy Amewu, Focal person for adolescent health, Tema Metropolitan Health Directorate, has called on parents to help protect the sexual and reproductive health of their adolescent children by opening up to them.
She said that even though the teenage pregnancy rate within the Metropolis was decreasing, the menace had the potential to destroy the life of the Ghanaian adolescent and the future of the country.
In a presentation to the Assembly Members of the Tema Metropolitan Assembly (TMA), she hinted on the need to join forces to protect young people from unhealthy sexual practices.
She told a story of a teenage boy who started having sex at the age of ten and had been engaging in the practice for the past four years.
According to her, such cases come to them every day, and they are making efforts to help the children come out of them.
She said teenagers had confidence in talking to health workers instead of their parents the adolescents see them as willing listeners and not judgemental adding that “teenagers complain that their parents ignore them anytime issues of sex and sexuality come up, and therefore are forced to seek help from wrong people.”
According to her, “Adolescents have a lot of issues, and until they become your friends you will not understand them. Those who have wet dreams, struggle a lot; so if you are not there to help them go through that stage of development, they end up taking advice from other people. They have issues with sexuality, masturbation, menstruation and non-drug addictions.”
She disclosed that Tema Newtown had more teenage pregnancies in the Metropolis and said” it could be due to poor standards of living in that community.
“I was at Manhean Health Center and saw two adolescents in the labour ward. One was seventeen and the other was fourteen years, and they were lying there crying whilst waiting to deliver,” she informed.
According to her, “Adolescents are not left out of the maternal death trail. 2015 and 2016 had two cases each of such deaths due to unsafe abortions.”
Mrs. Amewu appealed to Assembly Members to join the campaign to save young people from risking their health through unsafe sexual practices adding that adolescent health issues were not only for health workers because it was also a social problem that needed the intervention of all community members”.
She hinted that her outfit had reading materials and a platform where knowledge is shared and discussed.
She therefore appealed to the members to provide her with spaces in their communities to host health and communication centres to share ideas on health issues.