Madam Mary Gyasi, the Deputy Upper West Regional Population Officer has advocated the need for communities to allow pregnant girls to further their education after delivery and not force them into early marriages.
She noted that the practice of forced marriages was inimical to the wellbeing of young girls and advised parents to stop it and encourage their girls to go back to school.
Madam Gyasi who was speaking at Nakore in the Wa Municipality during the celebration of the 2020 World Population Day, noted that women and girls in the region had diverse experiences in terms of protecting their health and rights.
The 2020 World Population Day celebration was on the theme: “Putting the brakes on covid-19: Safeguarding the health and rights of women and girls now”.
These experiences according to Madam Gyasi included forced marriages, early marriages and inability to make decisions.
She stated that women and girls planned better when they attained higher education.
“It is therefore imperative to draw the attention of policy makers, implementers, traditional rulers and the general populace to the issue of how to safeguard the health and rights of women and girls during the trying times of the COVID-19 pandemic”, she emphasized.
She suggested that women and girls in communities should create opportunities to discuss among themselves issues concerning their reproductive health in order to thrive in life.
“To put brakes on COVID-19 and to safeguard the health and rights of women and girls, there is the need for the protocols to be taken seriously in the region”, she said.
She indicated that the 2010 census report showed that the average house size of persons per a house was 8.5, which revealed that an infected person could infect multiple persons who would in turn affect the whole community, hence the need to stay safe.