Maltreating pregnant teenager will affect baby’s brain – retired health director

Source: Ghana | Yaa Ayisah | Paa Kwasi Annan | Asempa FM
Date: 27-02-2014 Time: 09:02:38:pm

A retired Deputy Director at the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Ms. Rejoice Nutakor, has advised parents to stop maltreating their pregnant teenage girls as a way of punishing them for their action.

The mother of two, in an interview with Maame Akua on Abrabo at Asempa FM said any form of maltreatment given to such young mothers has serious health implications on their unborn babies.

Ms. Nutakor was in charge of Public Health Nursing and Adolescent Health and Development at the Ghana Health Service. She spent 35 years there until her retirement a couple of weeks ago.

According to her, some parents go as far as making the teenage-expectant-mother  work for hours without rest or food, while others surfer assault and humiliation at every little mistake .

She described these actions as inhuman and unfair as it leads to deformity and loss of memory of the unborn babies.  

Auntie Nurse, as she is affectionately called by many, said there are lots of children who are struggling to catch up with lessons in  the classroom as a result of the unfair treatment received by their mothers while pregnant.

She also noted that despite efforts to help build a good communication between adolescent and their parents, people are still struggling to practice effective sexual reproductive health communication with their children.

Recalling her experience on the job, Ms. Nutakor shared the story of a teenager she met while at post at the Ridge Hospital, who got pregnant as a result of an attempted rape.

She said after examining the girl, they realized there has not been any penetration, yet the rapist, during the struggle, ejaculated and the semen entered into the girl’s vagina.

She said the sister of the girl, with whom she was then living with, initially refused to accept the report that there was no penetration until she explained to the lady how that was possible.

Ms. Nutakor therefore cautioned all adolescents to have the courage and walk to any of  the GHS centers for free guidance and counseling if they find any challenge sharing their experiences with their parents.