Ghana will on Monday, September 26, join the world to celebrate World Contraceptive Day to raise the profile of family planning, placing it high on the national development agenda.
The Day, the first to be organised on a local theme, “Contraceptives: Your Right to Accurate Information”, will be celebrated throughout the week to increase public awareness and acceptance of family planning as well as advocate for increased commitment to family planning as an essential component of national health and socio economic development.
Addressing the media in Accra on Thursday, Dr Gloria Quansah-Asare, Director of Family Health Division of Ghana Health Service, said family planning had received less attention therefore, there was the need to step up the campaign and awareness creation to enable individuals and couples to make an informed choices of the services available.
She explained that family planning improved the life of women, children, men, the nation, the family and served as a link to other reproductive health services.
Dr Quansah-Asare noted that family planning was now seen as human right-basic to human dignity and therefore the need for all and sundry to embrace the idea and treat it as a national issue.
Ghana, she said, had 34 per cent unmet which when addressed would prevent 4,419 maternal deaths between 2000 and 2015.
Unmet needs refers to when women who do not want to get pregnant for the next two to three years (spacing) or women who do not want to have any more children (limiting) but are not using any method.
Dr Quansah-Asare said as much as the Ministry of Health was doing its best to bridge the gap, there were challenges such as low and decline contraceptive use rates, myths and misconceptions about contraceptives, abortions and contraceptive security issues.
Dr Stephen Kwankye, Acting Executive Director of National Population Council reiterated the need to step-up the awareness and placing it on the national agenda since it had an impact on socio-economic development.
He called on metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies to invest in family planning while Ghana Education Service integrated family planning into the school’s curriculum and health education programmes.