Stop abusing adolescents — PPAG Boss
Executive Director of the Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG), Madam Abena Adubea Amoah, has raised concerns about the troubling revelations of the rise of abuses that were meted out to adolescents and women during the COVID-19 pandemic in some parts of Africa.
Ms Abena Adubea Amoah made these complaints while delivering a speech at the PPAG, UNFPA support pre-implementation meeting held at Koforidua last week.
According to her, many homes have become places of abuse instead of safety for some adolescents when they were encouraged to stay home in order to contain the deadly pandemic.
She said the abuses ranged from battery and the infliction of unimaginable pain to children, adolescents and women among other gender-based violence.
The Executive Director indicated that, some women suffered sexual exploitation and dehumanisation at various degrees that the public never thought could happen.
“For these past few months that young people have been made to stay home as a precautionary measure to contain the COVID-19 pandemic in Ghana, we have witnessed high levels of lack of parenting skills, supervision and guidance,” she stressed.
According to her, over the past years, parenting and supervision of children have largely been left in the hands of teachers, even though it was not their primary responsibilities.
Ms Abena Adubea said parents have provided their children with mobile phones, and these children also watch television with multi-viewer option programmes which were harmful, but the parents do not supervise them.
She said this exposes children to the consumption of illicit materials and contents including pornography, sexting and experimentation of multi-sexual partner acts.
According to her, teenage pregnancy rates seem to be soaring in Ghana and the addition of COVID-19, coupled with absentee parents could result in pregnancy that would curtail the education of many adolescent girls.
“We have to think, create, innovate and champion activities and programmes that would respond to current realities, challenges and state of the people we serve, she said.
Ms Abena Amoah reiterated that, if some agencies including the PPAG failed to work, the Ghanaian society would experience the horror of an unplanned and unprepared population, and the consequences could be catastrophic.
She advised the public to strictly adhere to the protective guidelines of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Ghana Health Service (GHS) and PPAG, as Ghana was propping herself to function within the new normal life with COVID-19.
By Alfred Nii Arday Ankrah