One hundred and thirty five thousand kayayei in the Greater Accra Region have benefited from family planning education and services from Marie Stopes International (MSI) Ghana, a non-governmental organisation. (NGO).
In addition, through programmes of its mobile clinics and Marie call centres, 200,000 women were reached with information on family planning, the prevention of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and safe abortion last year.
The Country Director for MSI Ghana, Ms Andrea Fearneyhough, who made this known, was speaking to the Daily Graphic on Thursday when the Danish Minister for Trade and Development Co-operation, Mr Mogens Jensen, visited the Mallam Atta Market in Accra to interact with kayayei and MSI service providers who offer assistance to the kayayei on issues of family planning.
She indicated that the kayayei were reached with the information at the Mallam Atta, Agbogbloshie, CMB and Makola markets. Challenges
Ms Fearneyhough indicated that women in Ghana had not been able to accept the message well because of the misconception society had about family planning.
Another challenge, she said, was the fact that many women failed to access family planning because their partners didn’t like it, and called on all non-governmental and governmental organisations to help educate men on the issue to make it a couple’s decision. Country not doing enough
Mrs Fearneyhough said the country was not doing enough in educating young children on family planning.
“There have been many media reports on teenage pregnancy which were begining to become a problem not only in the Central Region but also other parts of the country and I just don’t feel that we are collectively doing enough to reach out to young people,” she noted.
She added that there was a population of young people growing up in the country and if more efforts were not put into reaching out to them with the information on family planning, the situation would get worse. Addressing the Problem
Speaking on how to address the challenge, the country director said the NGO would launch an initiative with the Ministry of Health and the private sector to establish youth friendly network facilities at 120 health service centres where young people could have access to information on their reproductive health. Danish minister
Mr Jensen explained that Denmark was most interested in promoting the rights of women, hence the collaboration to enlighten women on their rights and to give them advice on safe abortion and family planning methods.
“We are interested in the possibility of having women to decide on issues that affect their own body like men do,” he added.
Mr Jensen said many women died during pregnancy and childbirth and that was the challenge Denmark wished to help the country address.
The Director, Social Franchise and Marketing of the MSI, Antonio Quarshie- Awusah, said education was very important in addressing the problem, and called on all to join hands to educate young people to understand the changes that occurred within the in bodies.
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