As part of efforts to stem the increase of teenage pregnancy among female children between the ages of 13-19 years, Lagos State Government has advised parents to go the extra mile by educating their children on sex education most especially the female child in order not to fall prey to early pregnancy as this may affect their ambition in life.
In commemoration of Day of the Africa Child, the Office of the Public Defender (OPD) in collaboration with the Old Student Association of Epe Senior Girls High School, Epe, organised a seminar with the theme: “Teenage Pregnancy, Cultism and Child Rights” held at the school premises.
Speaking on teenage pregnancy, the Director Office of the Public Defender, Mrs.Olayinka Adeyemi noted that it has become worrisome that teenage pregnancy is on the increase, as this is now a trend amongst teenagers thereby making many girls to drop out of school.
The Director said that it has come to the notice of the Office (OPD) as reported cases of student pregnancy is becoming alarming stressing that this informed the Office to partner with the Old Student Association of the school to carry out sensitization to educate the pupil who are majorly girls on the challenges to be face as girl child.
Mrs Adeyemi explained that one of the causes of teenage pregnancy is when the female child is sexually active at an early age.
She further explained that teenage pregnancy can also be attributed to lack of parental care stressing that when female child is not getting adequate attention and necessary information from her parents, if such attention is coming from outside and most especially from the opposite sex such child may fall prey.
According to her, “In recent time, older men take advantage of girls when they are in critical condition, this is because they see us as a weaker sex but we need to prove to them that we are strong and I want you to always have it at the back of your mind that you are not weak. Be bold and be focused”.
She hinted that some girls in order to prevent the unwanted pregnancy go as far as having an abortion, which sometimes goes wrong and leas to sudden death or complications with their reproductive organs. This is not withstanding the health implications where a victim can get infected with Sexually Transmitted Diseases, which includes incurable disease like HIV/AIDS ..She also stressed that teenage pregnancies can cause Vesico vaginal Fistula (VVF).
While advising the pupils to concentrate more on their studies and say no to pre-marital sex,Mrs Adeyemi urged them to practice abstinence from sex or use preventive method if need be.
On cultism, one of the Old Students and a Director in the Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget Lagos State – Mrs Kemi Adedeji, adviced the students not to engage in cultism as there is no gain in been a member but rather join an association that will improve them academically.
Over 600 students were in attendance. Also present at the event was the Principal of Epe Senior Girls High School, Mrs Mary Peter-Koyi; Mrs Aderonke Adelaja; Ms Rasheedat Atanda-Lawal, a Senior Counsel in the Office of the Public Defender, teachers amongst others.