Teenage Pregnancy in Ghana: Causes, Effects and How to Put a Stop to it
In Ghana, especially in rural areas, teenage pregnancy is prevailing. During the lockdown, many young girls became pregnant, some have already put to birth and has gone back to school, others are still carrying children at the moment.
For a country whose economy seems to be sinking in the mud by the day, overpopulation is bad news.
But what causes this? Why are young girls getting pregnant in this day and age where civilization is everywhere? Let’s look at some of the reasons why teenage girls are getting pregnant in rural areas.
Causes of Teenage Pregnancy in Ghana
Curiosity and Peer Pressure
Curiosity they say always kills the cat.
Many of these teenagers are curious, they want to know what sex is, what it’s about, without knowing their actions will have consequences. They lack education. They were home during the quarantine and many of them decided to experiment, and they do this without protection.
Many of them do not even know about condoms and contraceptive pills. They see their friends doing it, and sometimes they are lured into these acts by these friends.
Where one grows up plays a big role in their life. For a child who grew up in environments where teenagers get pregnant and no one says anything about it, they won’t find anything wrong with it, if they had sex and got pregnant.
To them, this is a normal thing that’s being done, besides, it’s not like they killed someone. That’s the kind of mentality many of these teenagers have.
No Parental Guidance
Many of these teenagers lack parental guidance, their parents either divorced or are simply living apart. Some, their parents are alive and well, living in the same house with them but hardly paying attention to their children.
They do not educate them nor care about where they go and what they do. This can give a teenager the chance to act recklessly.
Some of these teenagers need money so they have sex for it and end up getting pregnant. They don’t even have the money to afford sanitary pads. Many of them came from rural areas to the capital to have sex for money and get pregnant in the end.
Effects of Teenage Pregnancy in Ghana
Overpopulation and More Poverty
Bringing new humans into the world, in Ghana, means overpopulation. And this isn’t very good for the economy of the country.
These teenagers will barely be able to fend for themselves and their children, that’s if no one lends a helping hand. Overpopulation puts pressure on Ghana’s economy. The child might also develop certain illnesses because the parent may not be compatible.
Stigmatization and Depression
After hearing that a teenager is pregnant, family and friends start to stigmatize them, call them names and tag them as prostitutes and disrespectful children.
This causes many of them to develop mental health issues like depression and anxiety. Many of them can no longer go to school and will have to do tedious jobs to fend for themselves and their children.
Contracting Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Having indiscriminate sex can cause a teenager to contract an STD, some that can last for a long time if not treated right, HIV/AIDs is one of them.
And they might spread these diseases to other people without even knowing.
How Best we Can Stop Teenage Pregnancy
The public, especially teenagers should be educated on the dangers of getting pregnant at their age. The consequences it will come with and how they will take responsibility for their actions if it happens that they will have to take care of the child themselves.
Parents need to be able to educate their children about sex as well. Once your girl child starts getting her period, you should be able to educate her about these things.
For those who insist on having sex at their age, they should be introduced to contraceptives and condoms to help prevent sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy.
Teenagers need to be able to train themselves. They need to listen to their elders and use these words to guide themselves along the way.
This would work better if parents took it upon themselves to bring their children up in a way that will help them continue to be disciplined everywhere they go. A way they would help them make the best decision.
Keep Them Busy
If a teenager isn’t in school, she should be working, that goes for the boys as well.
The devil always finds work for idle hands, doesn’t he? Parents need to keep their teenagers busy. Not engulf them with work that they can’t do, but something that will help keep their minds of friends and sex.
After school, they can help their mothers in the kitchen. Parents should know the kind of friends their children have and keep an eye on them always. The teenagers who are unable to go to school should be allowed to learn a trade that will benefit them.
Teenage pregnancy should not be encouraged in any community. But if it happens, parents and guardians need to support these teenagers to take care of the child. The government needs to provide quality education to these children and those who are unable to go to school should be allowed to learn a trade.