Research has shown that when women are better educated societies prosper and such women are healthier and earn higher income. Children of educated women are better educated too and have better health care. However it is estimated that sixty two (62) million girls worldwide are not in School. In addition, 78% of girls worldwide drop out of school as compared to 48% of boys. Statistics from the Ghana Health Service indicates that about 750 thousand teenagers between the ages of 15 and 19 became pregnant in 2014, with the Central Region recording the highest.
Youth Alliance for Development in contributing to the solution of this menace initiated the Anti-Teenage Pregnancy Campaign to address teen pregnancy prevention in Ghana especially among final year girls in basic school. The Anti-Teenage Pregnancy Campaign project aims at equipping young people especially basic school girls with information on reproductive health so that they can make informed decisions with respect to early sex. This Campaign was established in January, 2014 and the Campaign team includes public health educators, Clinical Psychologist, Counsellors, Staff of GES, National Youth Authority Official, an HIV Patient, a teen ambassador and a teen mother.
Our drive for the campaign is from the development report of the Ministry of Health which revealed that 16,182 girls went through unsafe abortion in 2011, 10,785 in 2010 and 8,717 in 2009 .Also, the Ashanti Regional Directorate of Health in the year 2013 recorded 21,171 cases of teenage pregnancy whilst 20,720 cases were recorded in 2012. The region also recorded 67deaths as a result of teenage pregnancy and a total of 140 Pregnancies were recorded among final year BECE candidates between 2004 and 2014 in the Adansi South District. Out of this figure 5 gave birth during the exams and 66 failed to turn up for the exams.
The Campaign which started in the Obuasi Municipality and the Adansi South District now has volunteers educating school children on their sexuality in Ga Central, Assin North Municipality and Kumasi Metropolis.
Some Success stories after the inception of the Campaign
- Over 1500 students in seventeen basic schools have been educated on their sexual reproductive health right.
- 200 selected girls have been empowered on assertiveness during international day of the girl child celebration in 2014. There was a float and walk on the streets to call on all stakeholders to take action on teen pregnancies.
- Another 250 selected girls have been trained on assertiveness last year’s celebration of international day of the girl child. There was a float and walk on the streets to call on all stakeholders to take action on teen pregnancies.
- No pregnancy case was recorded in six of our most visited schools among final year basic school girls who sat for the BECE last year
- No birth case was recorded during the examination as compared to the previous year
- Awareness on the consequences’ of teen pregnancy and unsafe abortions have been created to the general public through our Media Campaigns on Shaft Radio, Time FM, OFM and Ghana Television and Adom TV
In addition, we are giving out banners and stickers that have behavioral change messages on them which we aim at distributing to several rural schools in Ghana.