Madam Lena Alai, Volta Regional Director, Department of Gender, has noted that the prevalence of teenage pregnancy was threatening the human resource base of the Volta/Oti regions.
She bemoaned the vicious cycle of poverty and poor life conditions teenage pregnancy created especially among the rural poor and less educated girls and called for concerted effort to arrest it.
Madam Alai said this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency on the side-lines of a United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) funded one day engagement with District Girl Child officers from the two regions.
She said teenage pregnancies had cut short the dreams and aspirations of many brilliant and aspiring girls, pushing them back to the bottom of the ladder.
The engagement among others was expected to address the high rate of teenage pregnancy and school drop out in the Volta and Oti regions and design appropriate measures in addressing them.
The Volta/Oti regions in 2018 recorded 9,463 cases of teenage pregnancy among girls within the age bracket of ten and 19 years.
Madam Alai said it was alarming that teenage girls were taking over childbearing from the adults when they were expected to either be in school or learning a vocation.
She noted that as young future leaders who formed the roots of the Region’s human resource, their education should not be truncated by the issues of reproductive health with long term consequences.
Madam Alai said in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 3) three which identifies the control of adolescent birth rate as an indicator of ensuring healthy lives and well-being, teenage girls must be empowered to stay longer in school, lest the cycle of teenage pregnancy menace continued.
She explained that a literate girl child could enhance the achievements of SDGs, especially Goal five which seeks to promote gender equality and empowerment of girls and women by 2030.
Madam Alai said her Department was setting up a mentoring network for Girls to help them push for their lifetime goals.
District Girl Child officers engaged at the workshop bemoaned the lack of resources to adequately reach out to a larger number of adolescents in their catchment areas and called for support.