The government has been called upon to increase funding on reproductive health services across the country.
It is crucial for the country to invest in adolescent sexual and reproductive health as that would enable them learn about their sexuality and the opposite sex.”
The Executive Director of the National Population Council (NPC), Dr Leticia Appiah, who made the call, said reproductive health must also receive the same resources and commitment as done for education, as both areas formed the basis for national development.
She was speaking during a ceremony held by the National Population Council in Accra on Thursday, July, 11, to mark the 2019 World Population Day.
The event was attended by representatives from the Ghana AIDS Commission, Marie Stopes International, Parliamentary Caucus on Population and Development, the Christian Council and the Muslim Family Counselling services.
Supported by the United Nations Fund (UNFPA), it was on the global theme: “25 years of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD):
Accelerating the Promise” and the national theme: “ Reproductive Health and Gender Equality for Sustainable Development.”
Two documents; the “Sexual and Reproductive Health Policy for Young People in Ghana and the “National Population Policy: Revised Edition, 2017,” were also launched at the ceremony as part of efforts to create awareness of reproductive healthcare among young people.
Make family planning free
Dr Appiah called for family planning services to be made free and accessible, urging the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) to speed efforts to that regard.
“If one person has 10 children that they cannot take care of then it is a burden on everybody because the taxpayer would have to take care of them.
This year’s celebration called for the fulfillment of the 1994 ICPD held in Egypt, Cairo, after the world's population hit an alarming population growth of five billion in 1987.
At the conference, 179 countries agreed to put people first, empower women and enable people to freely decide the timing and spacing of their pregnancies, drawing a clear connection among reproductive health, human rights and sustainable development.
The Chief Executive of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), Mr Mohammed Adjei Sowah, in his address, called for family planning to take the centre stage in national discourse.
He also called on Parliament to pass the Affirmative Action bill into law, noting that, “men should treat women with respect and give them space to participate in decision making, starting from the household level,” he said.
The Country Representative of the UNFPA, Mr Niyi Ojuolape, announced that the next “ICPD25 summit” would be held in Kenya, Nairobi from November 12 to 14, 2019 and called on stakeholders to participate and commit to finally implementing the full ICPD programme of action from 1994.
“This will mean a renewed focus on leaving no one behind, by achieving the three zeros: ‘zero avoidable maternal deaths; zero unmet need for contraceptives and zero sexual and gender based violence’”, he said.
The Chairperson of the NPC, Dr Gladys Norley Ashitey, said the NPC was collaborating with the private sector to improve the quality of reproductive health delivery in the country.