2013 Family planning week launched in Ho

The National Family Planning Week was formally launched in Ho on Wednesday with a call on Ghana Education Service, to provide reproductive health education lessons in schools.

Ms Sherry Ayittey, Minister of Health said the world population profile indicated that  more than half of the people are under the age of 25, yet “they are unable to access the information and services they need to protect their sexual and reproductive health and plan their lives”.

She said there is therefore an urgent need in Ghana, to target the young ones in such programmes, so as to reverse teenage pregnancies and illegal abortions among other practices.

The 2013 Week is being marked on the theme: “Your Future Your Choice Your Contraception-Act Now.”

Ms Ayittey expressed concern about the low contraception use in the world’s poorest countries “where one in three women has had a child before the age of 18”.

She urged the society to champion the cause of girls dropping out of school as a result of pregnancy and getting them back to the classroom to acquire skills.

Dr Ebenezer Appiah-Denkyira, Director-General of Ghana Health Service (GHS) said the week was instituted in 2010 to be held every year to raise awareness among Ghanaians on family planning and related issues.

He said a nation’s population must grow in tandem with its resources.

Dr Appiah-Denkyira called on communities to select nurses at their Community-Based Health Planning Services compounds to educate the people on “how to grow”.

He also asked traditional and religious leaders to join the fray to get the youth informed on reproductive health to enable them make the right choices.

Nii Laryea Afotey-Agbo, Volta Regional Minister said family planning education should move from a pro-female issue to that of a family issue, involving men.

Dr Winfred Ofosu, Deputy-Director in charge of Public Health at the Regional Directorate of the GHS expressed regret about the dwindling numbers of people in the region using contraceptives.

He said from 2008 to 2011 contraceptive use among married women in the Region had dropped from 21 per cent to 19.5 per cent.

Dr Ofosu said those with unmet needs rose from 34 per cent to 37 per cent, which was 0a huge challenge for family planning education planners.

He said it is important that a budget line is provided for family planning issues.

The UNFPA lauded Ghana’s commitment to family planning as demonstrated in the free services offered at public health facilities.

The UN body however suggested the need for the country to extend the services to those in need.

Mama Atrato II, Queen of Ho-Dome who presided over the function  said she once came across a young lady of about 22 years, carrying what looked like a seven-month pregnancy, a year- old child strapped at the back and a toddler tugging after her.

She said that young woman represented the evidence for the very urgent need to tackle family planning issues with more vim.

The launch was attended mainly by students of health institutions in Ho, University of Health and Allied Sciences, EP University College, staff of health and quasi-health state institutions and religious groups.

A check at the stand of the Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana, which offered free family planning services, indicated that only a handful of people had patronised the services.

Many women gleefully asked for more female condoms which were freely distributed.

Source: GNA

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.