An obstetrician and gynaecologist at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital is convinced that the church has lost the fight against promiscuity and is calling for change in strategies to curb needless teenage pregnancy and the spread of the deadly HIV/AIDS virus.
Dr. Ernest Kwarko told Nhyira FM’s Ohemeng Tawiah that the HIV/AIDS prevalence rate is getting to an alarming proportion and the country’s religious leaders must begin to preach pre-marital safe sex rather than abstinence.
“I believe in religious morals but I also believe in what evidence my profession has produced. I hate to see people die. I hate to see teenage mothers die and get depressed. I hate to see them kill their children…how long can we live on. Certainly that cannot be good for any right thinking Ghanaian," he stated.
He said the church must join the crusade to promote safe family planning initiatives for teenagers.
“I think the new strategy is best is abstinence try and delay the first onset of sex to about 17 or 18 years and escape most of the complications that come with sex around that age.
“If you cannot avoid sex before that age then protect yourself from the unfair effect of pregnancy if you want to enjoy sex without pregnancy,” he advised.
He said sex education is key in the fight against unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases and that it doesn’t pay for parents to hide sex education from their children because they will learn about sex anyways and without proper education, they could be dangerously misinformed.
The Ghana AIDS commission last year outdoored four individuals to spearhead its Heart to Heart campaign to create more awareness about HIV and AIDS and ultimately to reduce the new infection rate.
Reverend John Azumah, a member of the campaign and minister with the Mount Zion Evangelical Ministry, told Joy News that he is in support of the call for religious leaders to modify their message on sexually transmitted diseases and encourage the practice of safe sex.
Rev. Azumah, who is living with HIV, said it is time for religious leaders to be realistic in the fight against HIV.
But Rev. Mike Abossey, host of Joy FM’s religious programme Joy Time in His Presence, insisted there is no point in asking religious leaders to preach safe sex in church.