By Sumaiya Salifu Saeed, GNA
Ho, Feb. 12, GNA - Shalomword Foundation, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) with focus on education is to engage commercial motor riders (okada boys) in the Central Tongu District of the Volta region on teenage pregnancy.
Ms Shalom Abla Lumor, Executive Director of the NGO said "okada boys" were a major stakeholder of teenage pregnancy in the District, with many fathering children for teenage mothers, and must be engaged in efforts at eliminating the practice.
She told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) that the "okada boys" normally lured teenage girls with free motorcycle ride or money for sexual activities with them.
Ms Lumor said the practice accounted for the increasing cases of teenage pregnancies in the District with many girls dropping out of schools.
She said about 19 per cent of all teenage pregnancy cases in the Volta Region came from the Central Tongu District and described it as unacceptable.
The Ghana Demographic and Health Survey (GDHS), 2014, showed that 4.1 per cent of teenagers in the region were pregnant with their first child and 18 per cent of teenagers had already given birth, with Central Tongu leading the cases.
Some experts said apart from contributing to high fertility in the region, the situation could also lead to several reproductive health complications among adolescents and their children.
Ms Lumor said due to poverty, teenage pregnancy appeared to have been ‘normalised’ in the area and called for support to keep girls and boys in school.
She said her Foundation planned to engage the boys, who were usually left out in the teenage pregnancy campaign on sexual reproductive health.
Ms Lumor said the engagement would take the boys through protection to prevent pregnancy and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) among others.