Ghana YMCA organised a two-day training workshop for 12 peer educators to assist in preventing the prevalence of teenage pregnancies in the country.
The peer educators who were drawn from the Greater Accra, Ashanti, Western and Volta Regions would be equipped with the required skills and knowledge to educate their peers on teenage pregnancy.
The incidence of teenage pregnancy is increasing in recent times and this challenge is partly attributed to inadequate information targeted at the right people in the right places.
The project has been designed to ensure that teenage pregnancies are reduced in these respective regions as surveys had indicated that large numbers of girls who become pregnant come from these areas.
It also seeks to create awareness of teenage pregnancy and its implication among 1000 youth from low income backgrounds, as well as educate 1000 boys and girls on how to prevent teenage pregnancy by taking them through various modules.
Ms Sarah Heinlin, the Communication and Programme Officer, said it had been observed over the years that there was overly concentration of teenage pregnancy campaign programmes on girls by policy makers and development partners, almost forgetting teenage boys as significant actors.
She said, for this reason the project had been designed to consider boys and girls in forming a 50/50 per cent target to bring the phenomena to manageable proportion.
Ms Heinlin said the project was being implemented using youth friendly medium attracted to girls and boys as well as the use of theatre in schools and centres where teenage boys and girls are found.
She said at the end of the training, the peer educators would implement the above activities in their regions specifically in Kumasi, Ho, Takoradi, Jamestown and Chorkor.
Young people would have the opportunity to take part in the theatre play and would be motivated to develop and create their own plays, she said.
‘This intervention is related to the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 3) – ensuring healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all levels’, she noted.
Dr Judith Owusu, a Medical Practitioner, who facilitated the programme, took the peer educators through topics such as menstruation and pregnancy said people have weird perception about the topic and needed to be educated to get rid of that mindset.
She said improper hygiene during menstruation brings about repeated infections which would affect them in the future and advised that girls to be particular about this.
Dr Owusu said Ghana was having all these challenges regarding teenage pregnancy because of misinformation and the fact that some parent and guardians shun discussions on reproductive health matters.
She urged parents to tell their children the truth regarding menstruation and pregnancy to help them deal with misconceptions and help salvage the situation.