Tema, Oct. 5, GNA - Students of Our Lady of Mercy (OLAM) Senior High School on Friday, embarked on a health walk and screening for residents of Tema Community One, Site 19, with a call on parents not to shield defilement or rape suspects.
The screening was organized in collaboration with the Tema Metropolitan Health Directorate (TMHD) as part of programme line-up for the school’s 20th anniversary celebrations.
Chief Inspector Sabina Ama Blay from the Tema Regional Domestic Violence Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service, educating the students and residents at the screening, said defilement and sexual abuse were criminal offences which must not be settled at home or concealed.
Chief Inspector Blay said most victims of defilement found it difficult to report the crime to the Police as their parents and guardians prevented them from doing so due to their relationship with the perpetrators.
“When you are defiled or raped, speak up, if your parents want to settle it at home call the police on 18555 and we shall attend to you,” she stated.
She encouraged the youth not to be afraid to speak up because of threats they received from the perpetrators after defiling them adding that reporting earlier could rather save their lives as they would be examined medically and treated in case they have contracted any sickness from the defiler.
“Speak up! Nothing will happen to you. They can’t harm you in any way. It is rather the law that will deal with them”.
Chief Inspector Blay also urged boys to be on the alert for paedophiles and homosexuals as such persons could defile them, saying such men start by playing with their buttocks and may drug their drinks.
Dr Joseph Donkor, Head of Tema Sub-Metro of the TMHD, on his part, said adolescents formed one-third of Tema’s population making it important for the Directorate to have specialized health care for them.
Dr Donkor added that statistics on teenage pregnancy, adolescents on family planning, abortions, among others in the Metropolis was alarming and therefore urged the youth to patronize the adolescent corners in the public health institutions to gain the needed information.
He indicated that the 18 adolescent health clubs in schools in the area organized advocacy and sensitization programmes in the communities and schools for their peers.
Miss Christiana Fianu, President of OLAM SHS Adolescent Health Club, pleaded with parents and community leaders to help train the youth in their respective areas to minimize their attraction to social vices.
Mr Alhassan Issah, Assembly Member for the Kwesi Plange electoral Area, congratulated OLAM and urged other Assembly Members to be actively involved in the activities of the youth in their area.