By Isaac Arkoh, GNA
Cape Coast, Sept. 28, GNA – Despite
intensified awareness campaigns on family planning; stakeholders in the Central
Region have expressed worry about Family Planning Acceptor Rate (FPAR) due to
its low patronage.
They indicated that although the Region had
more than 60 adolescent friendly corners in-charge of family planning services
among others, many of its residents were reluctant to embrace the services.
They expressed these sentiments during the
Regional Technical Working Group quarterly meeting on Family Planning in Cape
Coast on Wednesday.
They however praised the Regional Health Directorate
for the innovative steps taken which had improved patronage marginally.
The programme was supported by the United
Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), in collaboration with the Regional
Coordinating Council and Ghana Health Service (GHS).
Mrs Beatrice Essilfie, Regional Public Health
Nurse, outlined some of the measures adopted to scale-up acceptor rate.
These included quarterly family planning week
celebration in all the 22 Districts, intensification of home visits, public education,
counselling and use of “Vero-PACK” for home services.
The innovation, according to her, has improved
family planning packaging to facilitate door-to-door services to all clients.
Giving statistics to buttress the marginal
rise, she announced that FPAR has increased from 27.3, 25.1,29.7, 30.6 percent
in 2014, 2015, 2016 and half of 2017 respectively.
Mrs Thywill Eyram Kpe, Regional Director of
the Department of Gender, called for the support of all to make the effort a success.
She said the Department had embarked on
various local initiatives to reduce to the barest minimum child marriages,
teenage pregnancies and Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV).
The objective was to provide comprehensive sexuality
education and services to especially, the youth, to enable them to make
informed decision and choices.
Other representatives including the Planned
Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG), Ghana Education Service (GES), National
Youth Authority, Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs) among others took turns
to share their successes and challenges.
They largely expressed concern over the
distressing data on the low acceptor rate in some districts and other forms of
violations of human rights of girls.
Again, they enumerated some reasons including
poverty, illiteracy, negative cultural practices and lack of role models for
young girls as the common driving forces of teenage pregnancies and child
marriages in the Region.
They also advocated collective effort and
united front to improve public education, data synchronization and
institutional linkages to increase family planning acceptor rate.