Ghana launches 2021 Family Planning Week celebrations

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National Family Planning Week 2021 was launched in Accra to raise awareness and mobilize support to shape the future.

The week is on the theme: “Family planning in the midst of COVID-19. Take control. It is an everyday thing.

Dr Kofi Issah, director of the Division of Family Health, GHS, at the ceremony on Tuesday, said the country had made progress on total fertility rate and improving the lives of women and families such that in a quarter of a century, the total number of births per woman fell from 6.4 in 1988 to 4.2 in 2014, as reported in the Ghana Demographic and Health Survey (GDHS) .

He said the 2021 Population and Housing Census also provided additional information that household size had increased from 4.4 in 2010 to 3.6 in 2021, indicating that much progress had been made in the area of ​​family planning and other population strategies.

However, there remains a great unmet need for contraception in the county, claiming that despite almost universal knowledge of family planning (over 90%), contraceptive use has remained low at 25% of married women for women. modern methods, while 62% of female sexually active adolescents had an unmet need for family planning.

He said that certain socio-economic and cultural factors were mainly responsible for the low use of available maternal health services, including family planning services.

Fear of side effects, rumors, myths and misconceptions were the most frequently cited reasons for not using modern family planning methods, while poor attitudes of health workers and prejudices of providers were also deterrents. their usage.

Dr Issah said the celebration of 2021 was intended to increase public awareness and acceptance of family planning and to advocate for increased commitment to family planning as an essential component of national health and socio-economic development. economic.

He said activities would include media and stakeholder engagement meetings, TV and radio talks, provision of free services in selected locations, health talks to organized groups, floats and other community mobilization and awareness activities.

He encouraged all stakeholders to commit to conveying key messages in a customer-friendly manner and for communities to forge stronger partnerships with service providers, development partners and others to fight against factors contributing to the high unmet need for contraception.

“We must make this commemoration a turning point in improving access to family planning services as part of our RMNCAH and nutrition Strategic Plan (2022-2025) and on the road to universal health coverage”, did he declare.

Dr Stephen Ayisi-Addo, program director, National AIDS and STI Control Program, said it was essential that the promotion of family planning be continually integrated into all other services such as prevention and fight against HIV to ensure the achievement of universal health coverage (UHC). .

He said that even though the COVID-19 pandemic is still here, every experience has to be in place to become better, so “we will have to turn the tide against COVID-19” and work collectively and proactively to mitigate it. impact of the disease through innovative methods and pragmatic approaches.

We also need to advance the strategy of preventing unintended pregnancies in specific populations, saying without disaggregating the data, the problem may not be properly identified, he said.

Dr Ayisi-Addo also called for taking a closer look at different groups such as those who were vulnerable and urged using available data such as DHIMS and other sources to guide planning.

He urged stakeholders to take advantage of the new standard created by COVID-19 to improve FP advocacy communication and social mobilization to achieve the sustainable development goals in line with the UHC target.

Mr. Niyi Ojuolape, UNFPA country representative, said family planning saves lives, prevents unwanted pregnancies and unsafe abortions, reduces the risk of sexually transmitted diseases and decreases the incidence of death and disabilities related to complications of pregnancy and childbirth in the country.

FP was also found to empower women by giving them the right to decide if and when to have their children, which gave them the ability to fully assert their body anatomy and called on all partners to remain committed to improving. family planning in Ghana, especially among the vulnerable and the most neglected populations.

Source: GNA

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