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Ghana Health Service and UNFPA Ghana reached out to young people at Bortianor on teenage pregnancy prevention and how Wawa Aba can address their SRH needs. According to the Ghana Statistical Service, Ministry of Health and ICF International, some 14% of adolescents, aged 15-19 in 2018 in Ghana had begun childbearing. The World Health Organization (WHO) fact sheet from 2015 states that around 16 million adolescents give birth each year Clearly the Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) concerns of adolescents are pressing and need to be addressed.

Addressing the ninety young participants, a Public Health Nurse of the Bortianor Polyclinic, Regina Quartey shared the causes and complications of teenage pregnancy and why it was necessary for young people to have information so as to prevent it from occurring. Ms. Quartey said lack of information about sexual and reproductive health and rights, inadequate access to services tailored to young people, family, community and peer pressure, sexual violence, media influence and lack of parental guide and control are some of the causes. The complications for the infants are low birth weight, preterm birth, higher peri- and post-neonatal mortality including sudden infant death syndrome and congenital malformations while for the mother it ranges from anemia delayed prenatal care depression to lack of education or dropping out of school. She called for increased comprehensive sexuality education, youth friendly health facilities, media censorship as well as abolishing early marriage traditions and customs as ways to prevent teenage pregnancy.

A Senior Registered Community Nurse, Joshua Acquah took the participants through the various family planning methods, importance and usage.  The Assembly Member for the Bortianor Electoral Area, Mr. Dan Bright Abayateye called on the participants to avoid early sexual relations and channel their energies to their education so they can break the cycle of poverty in the various families and achieve their potential.

The participants were assisted on how to navigate Wawa Aba, a web-based platform that directs users to the nearest health facilities around them to access health care especially reproductive health care and information.

For 16-year-old Dorothy Adufu, who was excited on receiving information on how to prevent teenage pregnancy which is becoming rampant in her community, she promised to spread the news about Wawa Aba stating, “It is easy to navigate so I’m going to tell my friends about it”.