The Director General, Cross River State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Betta Edu and her team paid a visit to a creek hide out in Calabar South where a good number of teenage pregnant girls reside in Calabar South. The team met with some subtle opposition from the gangs that control happenings in the area.
The visit was in response to the high number of teenage pregnancy in Calabar South Local Government Area. Dr Betta Edu who met with the young girls who were aged between 11 and 17 years, noted that the girls were free prey to satisfy sexual needs of the young men and boys in the creeks. They have unprotected sex and share Sexually Transmitted Diseases freely among each other.
Being faithful to one partner was not part of the equation as the preyed on any available girl, except for a few who try to create territories. "It's a different world there in the creeks,"according to reports.
After speaking to the young men off cameras as they instructed, they sounded remorseful and asked that several cartons of condom be sent to them so the can protect themselves, because for sex they admitted they won't stop or stick to one woman for life.
While speaking to the teenage pregnant girls in small groups in some compounds, Dr Edu told them about the different types of sexually transmitted diseases and how to prevent them. She also educated them on the prematurity of their bodies which are not prepared to carry babies yet and the complications that may arise if the don't get the right care this period. Some of the girls opened up to tell her the ills that go on there and how the men reject condom that the won't enjoy the sex.
The teenage pregnant girls went further to state that they were registered in prayer houses and TBAs to deliver there. Dr Betta Edu recommended family planning methods for teenagers to restrict high rate of pregnancy among them to secure their future.
She described teenage pregnancy as an important public health problem that called for concern as the rate of abandoned children will increase.
“Contrary to what most people think, family planning is not only meant for married, but in the real sense of it, it is for every sexually active person not ready to bear children at that particular point in time. “Thus, teenagers who are sexually active and those not sexually active should know the implications of sexual intercourse.
Edu said that there were specific family planning methods for individuals regardless of their age, following proper counselling and history taking.
Dr Edu who explained this to them in pidgin English and local dialect in some aspect said there should always make use of the Health facility closest to them were the health workers will take good care of them for free. She called on PHC workers in Calabar South to intensify sensitization.