Step Up Family Planning Education—UNFPA

Mr. David Allan Paintsil, Central Regional Focal Point of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) called for intensified education on the need for all women of childbearing age (WIFA) to practice family planning.

He said education must reach the core of the population, especially sexually active adolescent girls, to help avoid unplanned pregnancies, which could lead to early parenthood, truncating their education and continuing the vicious cycle of poverty.

He said that the scarcity of social resources necessitated a proper population management system which in the long term would remedy the ills of society.

Paintsil was speaking at UNFPA’s first quarter meeting with stakeholders on their contribution to projecting the essence of family planning and finding ways to address its shortcomings in the region.

Stakeholders include representatives from the Ghana Health Service, the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU), and the Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana and the media.

He said the Region remained a hotspot for teenage pregnancies in the country and there was a need for all to work together to combat the menace.

Central Region Public Health Nurse Ms. Beatrice Asirifi said the family planning acceptance rate in the region was 38% and called for a collaborative effort to enlighten women and girls.

She said there was serious abuse of emergency contraceptives (ECPs) and according to research it was the top selling drug in pharmacies and over-the-counter (OTC) pharmacies.

“We are worried about this development; ECP abuse is very dangerous, so we call on everyone to come in to access any family planning product and be on the safer side,” she advised.

Referring to data collected on teenage pregnancies in 2021, Ms Asirifi said one person under 10, 742 between 10 and 15 and 6,815 girls between 16 and 19 became pregnant.

Among the girls, she said there was one widow, nine divorcees, 165 married, 1,534 cohabiting and 5,849 single.

The data, she said, indicated that there were still persistent cases of child marriage in the region, adding that drivers, fishermen and farmers were the main perpetrators.

Detective Sergeant Richard Boadi-Twum of DOVVSU Central Region Office emphasized the need for stakeholders to continue to educate men to help them understand their role as they are the primary perpetrators of sex crimes.

He further called on GHS, PPAG and all other relevant stakeholders to work closely with DOVVSU to ensure that perpetrators of sex crimes are brought to justice.

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