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The Jirapa Municipal Director of Health Services has expressed worry over high rate of cases of teenage pregnancies in the municipality.

Mrs Florence Angsomwine has revealed that the municipality recorded one hundred and sixty-nine teenage pregnancy cases involving girls between the ages of 15 and 19. Forty-five of them had to drop out of school as a result of their predicament.

Speaking at the commissioning of an adolescent-friendly center at Jirapa, Mrs Angsomwine noted that though the figures are dropping in the last three years, it is still worrying.

According to her, the phenomenon has become a source of worry in the Jirapa municipality.

According to the Ghana Health Service (GHS), between 2016 and 2020 more than half a million Ghanaian girls aged 10 to 19 years became pregnant. That is an average of over 111,000 teen pregnancies per year. Of all the teen pregnancies during this period, over 13,400 involved girls between the ages of 10 and 14.

Teen pregnancy is associated with a high school drop-out rate, which suggests negative consequences for the affected girls’ futures.

The high rate of teen pregnancy is related to forced marriages involving young girls. The twin phenomena of teen pregnancies and forced marriages involving young girls have several causes. Many schools do not offer adequate education in reproductive health or sufficient encouragement to girls to avoid pregnancy and complete their education.

Poverty, parental neglect and cultural norms also play significant roles in the occurrence of teenage pregnancy.