General News of Friday, 5 April 2013
The Volta Regional Coordinator of Victory Bible Church Reverend David Eleblu has said child prostitution was gaining grounds in Ho, Volta Regional capital.
He said though the practice was not openly known, it was a reality, which needed the collaboration of stakeholders to address.
Rev. Eleblu made the observation to the GNA when the Church feted over 600 street children, widowers and widows in Ho to climax its Easter Convention.
He said the situation was getting out of hand and called on churches and other non-governmental organisations to work together to curbing the practice.
“Some of these girls are getting pregnant and we need to offer them help now,” Rev. Eleblu said.
He said girls aged 12, 13 and 14 linger around drinking bars and ghettos at the central lorry terminal and offer themselves for money and that five of such girls and other homeless young people were being housed in his church and given skills and education.
Rev. Eleblu therefore urged churches to get to the ghettos and drinking bars around the central market and take young people off the streets.
At a public forum recently Madam Commend Akpelo, the Volta Regional Chairperson of the Coalition of NGOs in Health, also noted that it appeared some children were into prostitution in the Regional capital.
Speaking at the same forum, Dr. Atsu Seake-Kwawu, Ho Municipal Director of Health Services, appealed to NGOs working in the health sector to “do some field work” and come out with solutions to address child prostitution.
He said the presence of young girls at road junctions, drinking bars and in obscure areas late in the night was questionable and urged stakeholders to act quickly.
Dr. Seake-Kwawu said, “It is bad when you drive round town at night and see these girls in short dresses all over in obscure places.”
He said the situation accounted for many adolescents getting pregnant in the Municipality.
Dr. Seake-Kwawu said it was not surprising that between 13 and 20 per cent of pregnant women were girls in the Municipal area last two years.
He said only 1.7 per cent of adolescents in the Municipality accepted family planning in 2011 and called for “empowerment” of girls to curb teenage pregnancies and preventable diseases.
Dr Seake-Kwawu appealed to churches to establish youth friendly centres where young people could use their energies wisely.