The Central Region Public Health Directorate of the Ghana Health Service has expressed worry about reports of adolescents resorting to weedicides to abort pregnancies.
The Regional Director, Public Health, Dr Kwabena Sarfo, said that was worrying and an indication that comprehensive sexual education had to be intensified to reach all, particularly, the adolescents.
“I have had reports of pregnant adolescents adopting all manner of methods to abort pregnancies. One of such, which is new for us, is the use of weedicides. Some pregnant adolescents are drinking weedicides to abort pregnancies,” he stated.
He said it was obvious that many of them were sexually active but were not ready for the pregnancies.
Dr Sarfo was speaking at a day’s workshop for selected chemical sellers from six districts of the Central Region to educate them on family planning methods and services to help increase coverage.
The programme was organised by the Regional Public Health Directorate of the Ghana Health Service, supported by the Central Regional Coordinating Council, with funding from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and Global Affairs, Canada.
Dr Sarfo said using weedicides to abort pregnancies would kill many if it was not stopped through education.
He stated that public health education was everyone’s business, adding that it was essential that all stakeholders came on board to support education.
“Many people are contracting sexually transmitted diseases, getting unplanned pregnancies and unsafe abortions and it is important that we all step up our game to get family planning services to as many people as possible,” he indicated.
Strain on resources
He said the strain put on the nation’s resources due to population increase and its effect on infrastructure should energise all to campaign for family planning services.
“We want adolescents to come to the health centres with their problems rather than resort to crude and dangerous ways of solving their problems,” he noted.
He said the GHS was happy to collaborate with all and sundry with the right information to enable people to make the right decisions on their sexuality.
A public health nurse at the Central Regional Hospital, Mrs Beatrice Essilfie, urged the participants to refer any complicated case to the nearest health facility.
An Assistant Director at the Central Regional Coordinating Council and UNFPA Focal Person, Mr David Allan Paintsil, said many deaths could be avoided if people had access to the right information.
Another public health nurse, Ms Emma Delali Forley, took the participants through family planning methods and management of minor side effects.