‘Abolish Rape Victims Medical Exam Bills’

A section of the participants at the workshop

A SOCIAL Development Officer from the Department of Social Protection, Thelma Segbefia, has called on government to scrap the medical examination fees charged in health facilities before examining raped or defiled persons.

Speaking Friday at a one-day sensitisation/training workshop organised by the Ayawaso Central Education Office of the Ghana Education Service for members of the district advocacy taskforce, Ms. Segbefia said victims who could not meet charges by some of these practitioners failed to pursue their cases in courts, due to lack of evidence or proper documents for their cases.

She said most of the pregnancies being recorded among schoolgirls could be avoided if the law is applied well against perpetrators.

She said the burden has been on the under resourced Social Welfare Department to care for most of the victims.

The workshop, chaired by the Ayawaso Central Municipal Director of Education, Augustus Owusu-Agyemfra, trained 47 district advocacy taskforce members on issues arising after the Covid-19 lockdown schools reopening. It was dubbed “Back to school Advocacy Campaign”.

Sulemana Issifu from the Girls’ Education Unit of the Ghana Education Service in a presentation looked at pregnancies among school children between March 2020 and January 2021 and estimated that about 8,000 cases were recorded.

According to him, GES’s position on pregnancy was abstinence among schoolgirls, the creation of safe environment for girls, building girls’ self-esteem and confidence, providing information on sources of support services as well as age appropriate guidance and counselling services for all levels.

He also said collaborating with parents to provide supervision at home and in school would go a long way in curtailing some of early pregnancies.

BY Christopher Kotei