Family planning is cure for population growth – MP

Dr Mark Kurt Nawaane

Dr Mark Kurt Nawaane, Member of Parliament (MP) for Nabdam has stated that the antidote to controlling population growth in Ghana is to ensure that proper family planning methods were in place

According to him, family planning programmes had decreased the fertility rate of women and enabled the contraceptive prevalence rate to increase.

Dr Nawaane made this claim when he presented a statement in Parliament towards the celebration of this year’s World Population Day on July 11, 2017.

The theme for this year’s celebration: “Family Planning; Empowering people, Developing Nations”.

The United Nations since July 11, 1989 had commemorated the day as the World Population Day. By resolution 45/216 of December 1990, the United Nations General Assembly decided to continue observing World Population Day to stimulate discussions on the critical issues of population including its relation with the environment and development.

The World Population Day this year coincides with the Family Planning summit expected to take place in London. The UK Department for International Development would co-host the global summit the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, United States Agency for International Development and Global Affairs Canada.           

Dr Nawaane also stated that the recent rapid increase in human population over the past three centuries had raised concerns that the planet Earth may not be able to sustain present or future numbers of inhabitants.

He said at the beginning of the 19th Century, during the industrial revolution, the world population grew significantly from 250 million people to one billion.

He said since 1950, due to medical advancement and an increase in agricultural productivity there had been dramatic growth in the world population.

At the turn of the 20th Century, the world population was estimated at 1.6 billion people and by 1940 it stood at 2.3 billion people.

Currently UN population assessment report estimates the world population as 7.5billion and expected to be 9 billion in 2050 and 15 billion by 2100.

Dr Nawaane also stated that the Family Planning summit would enable stakeholders to provide a platform for donors to complement and commit themselves to assist poor but needy countries to find financial solutions to address the short fall in contraceptive.

He said the summit would also enable the family planning community to share experiences and display technical innovations that had the potential to accelerate progress in family planning. This can be achieved through short films, data visualisation and other dynamic story telling tools.

He said an estimated 225 million women in developing countries who want to delay or stop childbearing were not using any method of contraception. The reason for this include; cultural and religious reasons, lack of information and limited access to contraception and lack of cooperation from their men partners.

Dr Nawaane also explained that the range of contraceptive methods over the last few decades had been increasing and included condoms, female contraceptives, and female hormonal preparations intra uterine devices, Norplant’s insertions, Minilaporatomy with bilateral tubal ligation, the standard day’s method and the male sterilisation (Vasectomy).

He said family planning was key to slowing unsustainable population growth and the resulting negative impacts on the economy, environment and national development effort.

He said in history, 300 million women and girls across 69 developing countries were now using modern contraceptives and that had led to the prevention of 82million unwanted pregnancies, 25 million unsafe abortions and 125,000 maternal deaths.

Dr Nawaane further stated that access to voluntary Family Planning was a human right issue and central to gender equality and women empowerment as well as a key factor to reducing poverty.

He said in Ghana Family Planning data since 1988 suggested a sluggish performance in the family planning programming.

He said between 1988 and 2014, the use of oral contraceptive almost doubled from 13 to 22 percent. Also total fertility rate dropped from 6.4 to 4 percent in 2008 and marginally increasing to 4.2 percent in 2014.

He said the contraceptive prevalence rate fluctuated from 19 percent in 2003 decreasing to 17 percent in 2008 and increasing to 22 percent in 2014.

Dr Nawaane also stressed the need for the country to carry out a comprehensive sexual education as a channel for information for young people.

He said since faith, religious beliefs and cultural practices and influenced Family Planning, there was the need to explore sensitive approaches for the different population.

Dr Bernard Oko Boye, MP for Ledzokuku in his contribution called for continuous sexual education among the people to ensure that the family planning methods achieved the desire impact of decreasing the fertility rate of women thereby reducing the population as a whole.

Mrs Dela Sowah, MP for Kpando in her contribution urged couples to plan their families properly through the use of contraceptive.     

Source: GNA 

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