Addressing teenage mothers at the opening ceremony yesterday of the Teenage Pregnancy Support Group, First Lady, Sandra Granger charged them to become the leaders of tomorrow.
According to a release from the Ministry of the Presidency, Mrs Granger explained at the Sophia Health Centre that in addition to the teen mothers accessing health care, the group was organised to provide a place and opportunity for the young mothers to meet and share their experiences with their peers.
The support group is being headed by Dr. Krystle Fraser, Chief Resident of the Family Medicine Postgraduate Programme and several nurses who are attached to the Health Centre. It aims to educate and empower young mothers to ensure that they make sound decisions and choices with their well-being.
“I want to stress something to you today: you are more than statistics, you are special, you are individual and no one can take your place on this earth at this time, and you have a world of possibilities awaiting you…. You must know, as it has been told [to] you, that you can be whatever and whoever you want to be,” the release quoted the First Lady as saying.
It added that Mrs Granger pointed out that adolescents and young people make up the largest percentage of people in the world today and the choices that are made by them has a major impact on how the country grows and develops. The statement pointed out that the First Lady said she was pleased with the fact that the government was continuing the initiative to provide vaccines to prevent the occurrence of cervical cancer in young women. “It is a fact that several young girls are becoming victims of cervical cancer – a vaccine preventable disease,” Mrs Granger said.
“We also hope that we’ll be able to give them some sort of tangible support during their pregnancy, because a lot of time there is need for material things that [are not] available to them that we can assist with. So we’re hoping that out of the support group we would be able to give them the kind of help they need both materially and knowledge based,” the statement quoted Fraser saying. However, even though the group’s main focus is on teenage mothers it will gather support from their relatives and friends.
“[We] are not only focusing on the girls, but also trying to impact the [entire] family; we are drawing from the community at large…. We’re hoping that out of the support group we’re able to give them the kind of help that they need,” Fraser added.
Coordinator of Adolescent Health and Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV/AIDS, Dr. Onika Scott, pointed out that the Ministry of Health started the programme at several areas around the country to further educate young mothers. There was a lot that was not said at those clinic sessions, but when [we] sat with those teen mothers… they had a lot to say. We knew Sophia had a lot of areas that were screaming ‘help me’…” Scott said.