In Sierra Leone – Teenage Pregnancy Emergency Causes Presidential Concern
The alarming rate of teenage pregnancy, especially among school girls, has become a cause for serious concern among well-meaning citizens of Sierra Leone including His Excellency the president, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma.
President Koroma in his recent address to his second parliament described teenage pregnancy as one of the emerging national issues that deserves serious and urgent attention.
He vowed that his government will now put effective mechanisms in place to deal with the teenage pregnancy emergency.
President Koroma’s concern over the high level of teenage pregnancy has been welcomed by many other concerned senior citizens as a step in the right direction.
It goes without saying that teenage pregnancy, especially among school pupils, has been contributing immensely to the destruction of the girl child education on which government is expending huge sums of money.
By Joseph Milton Lebbie
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Abu Bakarr Bangura
Thank you Anita for addressing the issue of people getting rich through all these charities whilst nothing ever gets delivered. I also like the expressing ‘window dressing organisations’ because that is what they really are.19th December 2012
The ultimate responsibilty for the reduction and possible elimination of teenage pregnancies lies with the state and not solely with a passionate gender affairs Minister. The police and legal services should be involved in this and there should an act of parliament enacted to enforce such law. But in a situation where most of the older men like sleeping with underage girls, and many of these men may be in positions of authority I have very little faith in the system doing anything about it. In certain communities I have know people using pipe borne water as a means to sleep with lots of girls. In an an area only a few house have tap water people go there and this is what some guys used as a lure to trap young women. I will comment more on this later.
Abu Bakarr Bangura
As a result of early pregnancy most bright and wonderful young girls of school going age would have there lives set back or destroyed forever. Some even lose their lives during child birth. As a father who has a very young daughter I would of course be concerned. But the ultimate responsibility rests with the state and not solely with the parents.What would the APC government do to stem such a destructive tendency? Is the government going to provide pregnancy advice centres to deal with this problem? Is the government going to offer abortion services to these young women who are only experiencing some of the realities oflife for the first time? Is the government going to increase the responsibility on the young boys and men who get these girls pregnant? Bearing in mind that most of the young girls who fall pregnant do go out with men way older than them what kind of punitive measures will the government put in place to deal deal with the many sexual predators who take advantage of these young women? It is a good thing for President Koroma to express some concern about teenage pregnancy but getting to the root cause of the problem will be the step in the right direction. How many teachers in school and probably colleges who are there to abuse young women and who go to teach so they can have easy access to these women?19th December 2012
Its a good subject but how best all that matters would be helpful to girls and families? We are doing a lot of work with girls to prevent them from this act but no support from the government or organizations that should support our project.
We are working nationwide now establishing girls empowerment clubs with no support form the key players in Government/Big names NGOs. People busy making money and building mighty houses/big cars in name of widow dressing organizations having influence with key players.
I am sorry what i would say for us to succeed is to start with little once whom we are working with 0-18s and with the families we are supporting to support the girls.
We are Girl Child Network Sierra Leone if you want to contact us our office is 92 Circular Road, CLC Bookshop where we are setting up a drop-in / resource centre for girls.
Please forward to the President and informed him to give us a passionate and capable Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children Affairs. We need and over hull of this ministry from Permanent Secretary to Directors in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. its time to deliver! we are tired of this meeting, forum and conferences, big speeches and window dressing! Its time to deliver! Please!
Anita koroma18th December 2012
Girl Child Network