Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
Ogun Government has raised the alarm over the increasing rate of teenage pregnancies among schoolgirls as a result of school closure following the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic.
Commissioner for Health, Tomi Coker, raised the alarm, yesterday, in a chat with newsmen in Abeokuta, the state capital.
She, however, urged parents to encourage their teenage children to visit the Teenage Unit of Primary Health Centres in the state for counselling and advice from health professionals.
Coker, who equally, expressed concerns about the increasing rate of rape and other gender-based violence during the period of school closure, advised parents to introduce family planning to their teenagers who are already sexually active.
She observed that introducing family planning to teenagers may be a difficult task because of religious and cultural inclinations, but argued that family planning is not only safe but also the best solution to unwanted pregnancies, abortion and maternal mortality.
“It is absolutely good to introduce family planning to our teenagers and teenage mothers who are already sexually active.
“I would like to encourage both the young, even the women of marriageable age, married women and religious leaders that family planning is safe. It is good for us, it actually positions us in a better socio-economic cadre worldwide and we need to embrace it to reduce the maternal mortality in our society and to give our children the best opportunity in life,” the commissioner said.