Teenage pregnancy remains a major challenge in the Amansie Central District of the Ashanti Region, forcing a lot of girls to drop out of school.
The district leads in cases of teenage pregnancy in the region and places second in the country.
The Ghana Education Service (GES), has revealed that some girls from poor homes trade sex for money to buy basic necessities, including sanitary pads.
As part of an intervention, Luv Fm has reached out to girls in the district with over 2,500 packs of pads in commemoration of the 2023 World Menstrual Day.
During the 2022 Basic Education Certificate Examination, 21 teenage pregnancies were recorded in the Amansie Central District.
According to the Ghana Education Service, the high poverty rate in the district drives teenage girls to trade sex for money.
The District Director of Education, Nana Pokuaa Amoako, says the GES is however committed to educating girls in the area on preventive measures.
“Parents and some caregivers find it difficult to provide basic needs for their wards. A lot of girls lack basic necessities such as pads due to the rate of poverty in the district, that’s why most of them trade sex for money,” she said.
The Amansie area was targeted for a free distribution of sanitary pads by Luv 99.5 Fm due to reports of the high incidence of teenage pregnancy, period poverty and reduced school hours among girls.
In commemoration of World Menstrual Day, the radio station, through donations from the listening public, distributed 2,400 packs of disposable pads, and 156 packs of reusable pads to selected schools in the district.
Host of ‘Luv In the Morning’ Show on Luv Fm, David Akuetteh, engaged the beneficiary students on menstrual health and hygiene.
“After putting data together, we realized Amansie Central leads in teenage pregnancy, so we decided to visit the district to educate and donate some pads. Next year we hope to donate more than 200 boxes of sanitary pads,” he noted
The price of sanitary products has risen sharply from four cedis and is currently selling between 12 and 25 Ghana cedis. Some advocates have repeatedly called on the government to take off the taxes on sanitary pads to make it more affordable.
Basic school girls bear the brunt of the high cost. Celia Dadzie, a JHS 3 student at Jacobu Experimental D/A J.H.S shared her experience.
“The quality pads are expensive but the cheap ones are not, and we stain our uniforms when we use them. So, we’re glad that the Luv FM team has brought us some quality pads,” she said.
Amdiya Abdul Latif has developed an eco-reusable pad for girls.
She says, “providing girls in rural areas with reusable pads can curtail teenage pregnancy. I came up with the reusable sanitary pads when I was a teacher and realized my students were missing out of school while others were forced to exchange sex for sanitary pads. Through partners I researched and developed reusable sanitary pads “.
Luv Fm commended individuals, groups and organizations for responding to the call to help end period poverty.
Donors include St. George’s Ladies Fellowship, YAZZ Sanitary pads, Forever Easy pads, Federation of Female Lawyers, June Borns–KNUST Basic School, Female Bankers at Ecobank Harper Road, Eco-me Africa, Apple Valley International School, Ruma Fertility Specialist Hospital, Cocoa Abrabopa, and Member of Parliament for Odotobiri constituency, Emmanuel Akwasi Gyamfi.
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