Volta Region tops teenage pregnancy list in Ghana

In order to reduce the high incidence of teenage pregnancies in the Volta Region, the Executive Director of the National Population Council (NPC), Dr Leticia Adelaide Appiah, has recommended intensive family planning in the region with special attention on the reproductive health needs of adolescents.

She explained that during the time of the Ghana Demographic and Health Survey (GDHS) of 2014, about 4.1 per cent of teenagers in the region were pregnant with their first child and 18 per cent of teenagers had already had a live birth.

This situation, apart from contributing to high fertility in the region, could lead to several reproductive health complications among adolescents and their children.

It is against this worrying trend that the Volta Regional Capital, Ho, hosted this year’s World Population Day on Wednesday, to sensitise the people on the negative effect of teenage pregnancy among other reproductive health issues.

Dr Appiah, who shed light on the need to create awareness on global population trends and their implications for development to coincide with the World Population Day, said the provision of family planning services and care should be linked to human rights standards with no discrimination whatsoever in care provision, including age and marital status.

The global theme for this year’s celebration was: “Family Planning is a Human Right,” while the national theme was “Family Planning is a Human Right: An Imperative to Sustainable Economic Development.”

According to Dr Appiah, the Total Fertility Rate (TFR), that is the number of children who would be born to a woman at the end of her childbearing years is 4.3 per cent in the Volta Region compared with the national rate of 4.2 in 2014. Also, the region’s contraceptive prevalence is 29.5 per cent which is 7.3 per cent above the national figure of 22.2 per cent.

“Child marriage in the Volta Region was recorded at 7.8 per cent and it is second to the Western Region which is 8.3 per cent. Teenage pregnancy is also high in the region.

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