Growing parental irresponsibility has been as one of the major contributory factors to the rising cases teenage pregnancy in the northern region. This is according to the founding President of a not-for-profit organization, the Northern Friends of Education and Development (NOFRED), Mr. Ibrahim Mohammed Awal.
He opined that, the growing parental irresponsibility had led to many teenagers who are in school getting pregnant.
He said in Tamale, the northern regional capital, late at night children under 18 years loiter about and engage in all manner of criminal activities without their parents checking on them. He further noted that, some parents do not care to know the whereabouts of the children even for days but will organize a search party for their missing livestock.
“ I know some parents who don’t know where their children sleep. They don’t even want to know and all they care about is giving birth and marrying many wives. Go out in the night on the streets of Tamale, as late as 2am children still walk about. What are they doing at that ungodly hour out there? Where are their mothers and fathers?” he asked.
He revealed that some parents even request money and other gifts from their daughters after they had returned from night outing.
“The sad thing is that, some parents are irresponsible enough to demand money and food from their daughters. Asana you went out last night what did you bring home? Or I want airtime to top up my phone. So how can such a parent be responsible? This sad situation is giving rise to these unplanned pregnancies” he said.
The northern region has been ranked the fourth region in Ghana with the highest number of teenage pregnancies in 2020 with 9,249 teenage pregnancies of girls between 13 and 19 years by the Ghana Health Service district information management systems.
Below is the regional break down.
Mr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, also blamed covid-19 for the development, saying the closure of schools created the enabling environment for the pregnancies to fester.
He has therefore called on parents to take a second look at their parenting and be more responsible in order to nib the undesirable development in the bud. He also called for stakeholder engagement and collaboration in finding ways of curbing the canker, adding the chiefs and local assemblies should play a viral role in addressing the problem.
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