Dr Kofi Issah, director of the family health division of the Ghan Health Service (GHS), said on Tuesday that the country had made progress in terms of the total fertility and life index of women and families.
He said that in a quarter of a century, the total number of births per woman has increased from 6.4 in 1988 to 4.2 in 2014, as reported in the Ghana Demographic and Health Survey (GDHS).
Dr Issah revealed this at the launch of National Family Planning Week 2021 in Accra, on the theme: “Family planning in the midst of COVID-19. Take control. It’s a daily life ”, to raise awareness and mobilize support to shape the future.
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 universal knowledge about family planning, contraceptive use has remained low at 25% of women married for modern methods, while 62% of 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, and family planning services were no exception.
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 cited. deterred from use and efforts have been made to combat this.
He said activities for the launch include media and stakeholder engagement meetings, TV and radio talks, provision of free services in selected locations, health talks to groups. organized, floats and other community mobilization and awareness activities.
“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, head of the national AIDS and STI program, said it was essential that the promotion of family planning be continually integrated into all other services such as prevention and control. HIV to ensure the achievement of universal health coverage (UHC).
He said that even though the COVID-19 pandemic was still here, every experience needs to be in place to improve, so “we will need to turn the tide against COVID-19” and work collectively and proactively to mitigate the 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 aysi-Addo also called for a closer look at different groups such as those who were vulnerable and encouraged the use of available data such as DHIMS and other sources to guide planning in accordance with all strategic plans. .
Mr. Niyi Ojuolape, UNFPA Country Representative, said FP saves lives, prevents unwanted pregnancies and unsafe abortions, reduces the risk of sexually transmitted diseases and reduces the incidence of death and pregnancy. 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 improve FP in Ghana, especially among the vulnerable and the most neglected populations.