The Member of Parliament for Afram Plains North in the Eastern region, Betty Nana Afua Crosbi Mensah has declared war against the increasing rate of teenage pregnancy in the area.
She made the call when she interacted with students from the three Senior High Schools in her constituency as part of a Menstrual Hygiene and Management in Adolescent Girls education campaign being held by the Office of the MP in collaboration with Hawks Entertainment, a youth group as part of activities preceding the 2019 Miss Afram Beauty pageant event.
The pageant aims to showcase the rich cultural heritage of the Kwahu Afram Plains and discover talents to facilitate the socio-economic development of the area.
The area has been rated the highest among 33 constituencies in the Eastern region, according to data available at the Girl Child Directorate of the Afram Plains North District.
As recent as 2017, the area was known to be the second highest with teenage pregnancies in the whole of the region, however, according to the MP, the constituency now bears the unenviable accolade as the worst.
Launching the “Leave My Girls Alone” crusade to educate and ward off boys and men from impregnating young and vulnerable girls, she said the bad record is not an acceptable one hen all hands need to be on deck to reverse the tide and to secure the future of the constituency.
The Afram Plains North lawmaker challenged young girls and boys to abstain from pre-marital sex in order to safeguard their own future.
She also encouraged parents and guardians to show high interest in the total wellbeing of their children and wards since that is crucial to enable them stay away from premarital sex and other risky lifestyles.
Speaking at separate gatherings with students of Donkokrom Agric SHS, St Mary’s Vocational/Technical Institute, Adeembra and Amankwakrom Fisheries and Agric Technical Institute (AFATI), the young lawmaker emphasized the need for the youth to concentrate on their studies irrespective of any challenges as the surest way to achieve their aims.
“Keep yourself safe, stay focused on your dreams, and that goal of yours will be achieved”, she counselled.
The MP urged the students and youth of the area to be weary of Sexually Transmitted Infections and avoid early sex. She urged the various school managements to serve as true guardians to their students while urging the students to report cases of sexual harassment to the appropriate authorities for prompt redress.
Ms Betty Mensah also disclosed that her outfit was in talks with the District Assembly and the District Security Council to form a taskforce against loitering at odd hours by young people to help curb the increasing cases of teenage pregnancy.
Additionally, she said all political parties in the area will be expected to prioritize the subject of teenage pregnancy in the area as they mount political campaign platforms ahead of the 2020 general elections.
The MP who is a member of the Gender and Social Welfare Committee of Parliament, distributed free sanitary pads to about 800 female students in all three schools visited.
Officials from the Department of Social Welfare and the Ghana Health Service addressed the students on different subjects including menstrual hygiene, abstinence and sexual harassments.