Adolescents and young people form nearly one-third of the total population of Ghana - around one-quarter between the ages of 10 to 19 years with an additional 10 per cent young adults between 20-24 years.
For more than five million adolescent girls in Ghana, the transition from girlhood to womanhood is filled with obstacles. Girls face vulnerabilities with regards to their sexual and reproductive health — with potentially lifelong consequences. Many of them start having babies when they are still children.
Teenage pregnancy is associated with maternal and child mortality. For several reasons, pregnancy in adolescence carries a high risk of maternal death. Children born to mothers under 20 years have less chances of surviving. The under-five mortality for those children stands at 105 compared to a national average of 85.
High level of anemia among girls is of particular concern because it is a leading cause of maternal mortality, low birth weight and premature birth. Nearly half of the adolescent girls in Ghana are anemic, making it a public health problem.