The Antenatal Unit of the Mankessim Health Centre, recorded a total of 335 teenage pregnancy cases last year, as compared to 217 cases the previous year.
Mrs. Mercy Antwi- Boasiako, Senior Physician Assistant at the Health Centre who described the situation as serious, said the cases involved girls aged between 10 and 19 years.
She made this known at a day’s Annual Performance Review Meeting of the Mfantseman Municipal Health Directorate at Saltpond, and attended by medical and non-medical staff from Anomabo, Dominase, Biriwa and Saltpond/Kormantse Sub-Districts, Mankessim Sub Municipal, Saltpond Hospital, Mercy Women Centre, Municipal Ambulance Service and Mfantseman Mutual Health Insurance.
Mrs. Antwi -Boasiako pointed out that though the Health Centre intensified education on teenage pregnancy in the year under review, the increase suggests that more needs to be done to reduce it this year.
Mrs. Antwi -Boasiako said the ANC attendance shot up to 11,121 last year, as against 6,454 the previous year, adding that 2, 672 patients were screened for Hepatitis B, and that 22 were diagnosed with anaemia.
She said 341 deliveries were recorded at the facility last year, and attributed it to teamwork and improved human relation, adding that 361 husbands and male relatives were in the delivery suite during deliveries.
The Senior Physician Assistant said Malaria topped the list of the 10 top diseases recorded at the centre, with an increase of 7,076 cases, as against 5,371 cases the previous year, adding that Malaria cases in children under five also increased from 1,815 in 2012 to 3,798.
She said 26 persons made up of 14 males and 12 females, were diagnosed with Tuberculosis of which one died, eight were cured of the disease, with one transferred out, while 16 are still receiving treatment.
Mrs Antwi Boasiako said four people made up of two males and two females, were diagnosed with HIV, and referred to the Saltpond Hospital for treatment.
On the increase in teenage pregnancy cases, the Mfantseman Municipal Health Director, Ms Graham-Hayfron, in an interview, described the situation as unfortunate, saying the directorate was doing its best to curb teenage pregnancy within the Municipality, by setting up Adolescent Friendly Units at the various health facilities where youth who need counselling will be referred to.
She said the Directorate would team up with the Municipal Assembly and the Municipal Education Unit to set up Adolescent Clubs in the various schools and societies, to educate the youth on teenage pregnancy and other challenges.
Graham-Hayfron appealed to religious, traditional and community leaders and parents to help educate the youth on sex-related issues.
Mankessim Health Centre is part of the seven sub-municipal health facilities under the Directorate. It serves eleven 11 communities in the Mankessim catchment area, with a population of 31,506 who are predominantly traders and farmers.