The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Country Representative Aisha Camara-Drummeh has said a lot still needs to be done to curb teenage pregnancy in schools.
Camara-Drummeh said this when deliberating a UNFPA statement during the World Population Day 2013 in Palapye recently.
“Teenage pregnancy remains high at a national average ratio estimated at 9.7percent,” she said.
According to the UNFPA boss, many young women still have limited information on preventing pregnancy while some are not able to access services in youth friendly health centres across the country.
Camara-Drummeh noted that one of the teenage mothers who participated in the ‘Voices of Adolescents on Adolescent Pregnancy’ interviews had said that she did not know about contraceptives before she fell pregnant.
“These revelations represent realities of a lot of adolescents as they grow up,” she said adding that some do not know how to avoid a pregnancy while others are unable to obtain condoms and contraceptives.
She added that adolescents maybe unable to refuse to engage in sex or to resist coerced sexual intercourse but provided with the right information and skills, the young women will be able to at least negotiate safe sex.
It is therefore an unequivocal need for all duty-bearers to intensify their efforts to empower adolescent girls to prevent pregnancies, she said.
Camara-Drummeh called on policymakers, service providers and all stakeholders involved to take measures that enable adolescent girls to make responsible choices when it comes to the reproductive health.
Every young girl, regardless of where she lives and her economic circumstances, has the right to fulfill her human potential, she said.
“Today, too many girls are denied that right. We can change that and we must,” Camara-Drummeh emphasised.
Meanwhile in April, the assistant Minister of Education and Skills Development Patrick Masimolole had told parliament that the ministry had put in place strategies to reduce teenage pregnancies in the school system.