By Godwin Okeh, Abakaliki                  The Coalition of Eastern non-governmental organizations, Ebonyi state chapter, on Wednesday lamented the high rate of teenage pregnancies and unsafe abortions in the state.

The group however expressed dismay over the spate of abortion among teenagers in the county and called on government at all levels to ensure that this scourge is eliminated to avert destruction of lives and property

The Coordinator of the coalition of Eastern NGOs, Mrs. Nancy Oko-Onya stated this in Abakaliki, Ebonyi state capital during the training of National Youth Service Corps members and teachers in secondary schools in the state with the theme “sexual reproductive health,  rights and Gender based violence”.

She noted that if teenage pregnancy and abortion are reduced, it will help the state to develop, especially with its lean resources.

Oko-Onya urged youths to shun premarital sex to avoid unwanted pregnancies which according to her will ruin their lives.

“The way out of teenage pregnancies and unsafe abortion is avoiding premarital sex because it is not just to prevent one from being pregnant but the sexually transmitted diseases equally. So, it is general safety.

“When teenage pregnancy is reduced, the economic life of the child is improved, the social life of the child is improved and psychologically the child will be sound. There are lots of disadvantages associated with teenage pregnancy.

“The child may drop out of school, it takes a lot of courage to have that child in school until she delivers and even after delivery, some of them don’t go back to school. So, the future of the child is assured when there is reduction in teenage pregnancy.

 “If it is possible we want to have zero teenage pregnancy occurrences in the state. That will help the state develop and the resources that is lean also will be managed properly but when you have so much stress on the resources both for the family, the child and government in taking care of unplanned pregnancies economically the state will not do well and if care is not taken, we will begin to produce children that will become very big challenge to the society crime wise”, she said

Oko-Onya explained that the  training will assist teachers who are in the school system to give students the basic knowledge on sexual reproductive health and Gender based violence which according to her will contribute in the remodeling of lives of students who will  later go back  to the society as full adults.

“It is going to be a year- long activity that will bring about formation of peer groups in the schools where the students on their own will begin to discuss issues on sexual reproductive health rights and gender based violence.

“We want to reduce incidences of teenage pregnancy, unsafe abortion and let those children have access to reproductive health services and then to agencies of government that protect the law. If they have issues to report to the police, Civil Defence, immigration those ones have been trained and we partner them to ensure safety in our society especially in Ebonyi state” she stated.