Some teenagers in fishing communities in the Central Region are reported to be bartering sex for fish.
The situation, among others, is affecting efforts aimed at fighting teenage pregnancy.
Statistics available indicated that in the Komenda Edina Eguafo Abrem (KEEA) municipality alone, 497 teenagers got pregnant between January and September this year.
Also, in the Abura Asebu Kwamankese district, 280 teenage girls were recorded pregnant by health facilities in the district for the first half of 2017.
Contributors at a forum on teenage pregnancy in Cape Coast last Wednesday, said teenagers were doing all including exchanging sex for fish from fishermen to sell to augment family incomes and make ends meet.
The forum was organised by the Ghana Health Service with support from the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) to empower queens to help fight the scourge of teenage pregnancy in the region.
The forum observed that poverty levels were high in fishing and rural communities, and needed urgent and workable solutions to help provide relief for the most vulnerable in these communities.
About 40 queens from the KEEA and Abura Asebu Kwamankese districts attended the one-day forum to deliberate on issues affecting young people, particularly girls for better lives.
District Director of Nursing Services for KEEA, Mrs. Juliana Armah, said some of the teenagers were dropouts from a poor background or broken homes.
“Some give sex and take fish for their aged parents to sell to augment incomes,” she said.
She said such young pregnant girls were usually anaemic and suffered complications during birth.
“Their children are also usually malnourished and they perpetuate the cycle of poverty,” she added.
She said she was optimistic that the queens would help orient the young girls to stay away from irresponsible sexual behaviours.
Source: Today Newspaper