Ms Catarina Furtado, the Africa Goodwill Ambassador of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), has said investment in reproductive health was the right key to the development of every nation.
She said to invest in the reproductive and sexual health of young people, especially girls, had the potential of boosting the socio-economic development of every nation.
Ms Furtado made the observation when she paid a courtesy call on the Cape Coast Regional Minister, as part of activities lined up for the 7th Africa Conference on Sexual Health and Rights.
She said as the goodwill Ambassador of the UNFPA for 15 years, she was in Ghana to participate in the conference and also to share ideas and experiences from other countries about issues relating to sexual health and rights.
She said the UNFPA wanted to build a future where the youth would have a voice, and everyone must be interested in issues relating to sexual health, especially on Teenage Pregnancy, Maternal Health, Gender and Women Issues, Child Marriage, Violence Against Women, among others.
Mr Duncan Opare, the Director of the Regional Coordinating Council, receiving the Goodwill Ambassador, on behalf of the Regional Minister, said the Region and the country as a whole, and appreciated the UNFPA’s efforts towards the socio-economic development of the country.
He said the Region was privileged to have her coming to visit and interact with school children as well as to visit the Elmina Castle.
He said Ghana’s gender policies at the moment were in the right direction to achieve sexual health and rights, and it had not overlooked that of the United Nations.
Mr Opare said, “In our part of the country where traditions and customs are still fighting against us in our quest to attain equality amongst all, we have come a long way and in a few years to come, equality would be achieved across board”.
He asked for the continuous support of the UNFPA to help tackle the major problems like poverty, early marriages, teenage pregnancies, among other issues, in the Region.
Ms Furtado, as part of her visit, also participated in a youth health advocacy assembly organised for some selected schools in the Region and toured the Elmina Castle to have a first-hand exposure to the history of the slave trade many years ago.