GHS accelerates family planning acceptability in C/R

BY: Shirley Asiedu-Addo
Mrs Beatrice Essilfie presenting a Vero Pack to Mr Michael Essumang at the training programme
Mrs Beatrice Essilfie presenting a Vero Pack to Mr Michael Essumang at the training programme

The Public Health Division of the Ghana Health Service in the Central Region, is working to accelerate family planning acceptability rate, with the adoption and use of Vero Pack.

The Vero Pack, named after its innovator, Ms Veronica Amoako, is a pack of tools and medications for easy administration of family planning services in the communities.

The initiative is being introduced to nurses in the communities to equip them with the packs to enable them to render family planning services in homes in support of efforts to improve the coverage of family planning services.

50 Nurses trained

In line with the implementation of the programme, 50 nurses from selected districts in the region have been trained on effective ways to administer family planning methods in the Central Region to help people plan their families for better lives with particular emphasis on the use of the Vero Pack.

The nurses from the Twifo Hemang Lower Denkyira, Ajumako Enyan Essiam, Assin South, Upper Denkyira West, Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem (KEEA) and Ekumfi districts were given a pack each after the training.

The three-day training, organised with support from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), would empower the nurses with knowledge and equip them with the Vero Pack to provide “at home” family planning services for the communities.

The inventor

Ms Amoako, the innovator of the Vero Pack, when explaining what necessitated the innovation, said the family planning acceptability rate for the last quarter of 2015 in her district, the Gomoa East District, was as low as 19 per cent.

She said, determined to make a difference, she thought it prudent to organise the pack with all available tools for administering the family planning methods and sent them on medical outreaches to the communities.

Success story

In 2016, with the adoption of the Vero Pack and its use, Ms Amoako said acceptability rate in Gomoa East increased to 26 per cent.

She said many of the women they dealt with in the communities, were almost always pregnant. “They are always in need of money and this affects the upbringing of the children they already have,” she added.

Side effects

Ms Amoako said the public health nurses and other health personnel, who would administer the services, were also being educated to enlighten clients on the possible side effects and the need to come back to service providers with any side effect.

“All the negatives about family planning and the side effects are rooted in misinformation.

We are training these nurses to educate clients in such a way that they get back to the service providers with any side effect and not to manage them themselves.

A nurse at the Community Health Compound at Nuanua in the Assin South District, Mr Michael Essumang, also said the pack was well packaged and convenient and would certainly make an impact in reaching many more with family planning services.

The Central Regional Public Health Nurse, Mrs Beatrice Essilfie, said the GHS was determined to achieve its 40 per cent family planning coverage target in the Central Region with the introduction of the Vero Pack.