Enhanced Family Planning Services, key to Sustainable Development

Bolgatanga, July 11, GNA – Mr Alosibah Akare
Azam, Upper East Regional Population Officer on Wednesday said access to family
planning was key in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) particularly,
the goal that seeks to eradicate extreme poverty, and hunger.

According to him, achievement of universal
primary education, promotion of gender equality, empowering women and ensuring
environmental sustainability, were all areas that had direct linkages with
population issues and family planning in particular.

“It is imperative that the Government of Ghana
considers family planning as a human right and takes responsibility of ensuring
its acceptance and accessibility to control population growth and propel
Ghana’s sustainable economic growth and development”.

These were contained in a statement, signed
and copied to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Bolgatanga, on the occasion of the
celebration of World Population Day (WPD).

The global event, celebrated annually on July
11 is to create awareness on global population trends and their implications
for development, was ratified by the governing Council of the United Nations
General Assembly in 1987.

The global theme for this year’s celebration
is: “Family Planning is a Human Right”, has a national theme as “Family Planning
is a Human Right; An Imperative to Sustainable Economic Development”.

The statement indicated “when the population
growth rate remains high, a much higher economic growth rate of at least three
times the population growth is required to absorb the pressure of population
growth on the economy. However, investment in family planning slows down
population growth, improves socio-economic development, increases a country’s
wealth and ensures self – sufficiency.”

It added that as the population increases, the
demand for quality education, land for agricultural purposes, health care
services, and infrastructure among others increased, putting the limited
resources of the country in distress, which adversely affects investments and
the country’s quest to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

The statement therefore called for intensive
education and sensitization from the major stakeholders including the
government and the Ghana Health Service (GHS) as well as the media to help
demystify the misconception surrounding family planning, and promote its
patronage.

“Despite the enormous benefits of family
planning to the individual, family, the community, the region and the nation,
there is low uptake of family planning in the Upper East Region.

“This is due to factors such as high level of
myths and misconceptions about Family Planning, strong adherence to cultural
and traditional practices, religious barriers, erratic supply of family
planning commodities, low male involvement in family planning services, poor
staff/service provider attitude towards clients and inadequate financial
support for family planning programmes among other challenges.” It indicated.

The statement urged government to incorporate
family planning services into health care services as fundamental human right
to reduce population growth rate, thereby solving the incidence of
urbanization, poor sanitation due to overcrowding, unemployment and poverty.

GNA 

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