Ghana’s Health Insurance Scheme to save $17m annually if Family Planning is considered – Dr Atupri

The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) will save not less than $17 million annually if family planning services are included in the benefit packages under the scheme.

This amount could be used to support other health interventions to improve the health status of all Ghanaians, Dr Easmon Atupiri, of the Department of Public Health at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) had stated.

Speaking at a two-day workshop on reproductive health for 25 media personnel in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region on Friday, he noted that the use of modern methods of contraception prevalence rate in the country is 17 per cent, while fertility rate stands at 4.0 per cent annually.

This, he said, posed a serious threat to birth control in the country. Additionally, he said maternal mortality ratio is 350 per 100,000 live births with population growth at 2.4 per cent.

The workshop, which aimed at getting the media to promote contraceptive use in the country, was organised by the Department of Community Health and the Department of Obstetrics and Gaenecology at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) with support from the John Hopkins School of Public Health.

The participants were taken through topics such as family planning, maternal mortality, economic benefits of family planning, communications for behavioral change and contraception technology.

Dr Atupuri said the poor indicators depicted that reproductive health needs of the country were enormous and indicated that improved contraceptive use was necessary to accelerate economic growth.

He, therefore, called on the media to partner health providers to promote massive contraceptive use.

Professor Ernerstine Addy of the Department of Community Health at KNUST, said the teaching of the use of contraceptive was not enough and called for the development of health practices and supportive environment necessary for its acceptance by the people.

Dr Frank Ankobea, a Gynaecologist at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, mentioned some of the long term and short term methods of contraception as gadelle, injectables, vasectomy, the pill, condom use and tubal ligation.

He urged the media to help health personnel to disabuse the minds of the public about misconceptions and myths associated with contraceptive use.

Source: GNA

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