Takoradi, Sept. 26,-GNA – The Ghana Health Service (GHS)Thursday launched this year’s Family Planning Week Celebration with a call on both young and adults to patronize family planning services to promote reproductive health and ensure socio-economic development.
It said high patronage of family planning services would reduce maternal deaths, infant mortality, unwanted pregnancies and abortion, as well as improve the wellbeing of women and children in general.
The Minister of Health, Dr. Kweku Agyemang Mensah, said this in a speech read on his behalf, by Dr. Gloria Quansah Asare, Deputy Director-General of the Ghana Health Service, during the launch of this year’s National Family Planning Week Celebration, in Takoradi.
The event which coincided with the World Contraception Day was on the theme: ‘It’s Your Life, It’s Your Future: Plan It Well ‘brought together traditional leaders, heads of department, health partners and students.
The minister revealed that family planning services would soon be enrolled onto the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to enable NHIS subscribers enjoy the benefits, as a cost-effective way of reducing maternal deaths and improve reproductive health geared towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals Four and Five.
He noted that as long as young people remained sexually active, they would not stop having sex therefore there was the need to make information on reproductive health available and guide them to make informed decisions about family planning.
He said the week-long celebration would create awareness on the use of contraceptives and address rumours and misconceptions surrounding the usage of family planning methods.
The minister appealed to health workers to adopt effective communication strategies in informing the citizenry and sustaining their interest in the use of contraceptives which constitute an integral part of reducing rapid population growth and promoting quality care for new births.
He commended the donor partners, the media, traditional authorities and civil society organisations for their efforts in supporting and promoting family planning services in the country.
The Director-General of Ghana Health Service, Dr. Ebenezer Appiah Denkyira, said family planning reduces maternal deaths between 2O and 3O percent
However, a multi sentinel survey conducted in 2O11 revealed that the use of modern contraceptives stood at 23 percent and said it was not in tune with the country’s vision of achieving and maintaining middle income status.
He therefore called for concerted efforts by all stakeholders in creating awareness on the use of modern contraceptives to space childbirths and improve their financial well being.
The Deputy Western Regional Minister, Mr. Alfred Ekow Gyan, said in view of the vibrancy of the oil and gas sector, the region risked experiencing astronomical population growth due to the influx of sexually active people into the region and, therefore, called for pragmatic steps by all stakeholders to generate interest in people to patronize contraceptives.
‘It is worrying to note that family planning acceptor rate in Ghana is on a downward trend from 34.7 percent in 2O1O to 24.8 percent in 2O13, saying the situation in the region is no different with regards to the acceptor rate thus declining from 22.8 percent in 2O11 to 21.2 percent in2O13’.
There was a sketch by students to re-enforce the need for the citizenry to patronise family planning services to enhance their economic status.
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