Upper East Region has low contraceptive use

BY: Vincent Amenuveve
The Regional Family Planning Coordinator, Bolgatanga, Mrs Wasila Taibu
The Regional Family Planning Coordinator, Bolgatanga, Mrs Wasila Taibu

The Upper East Regional Secretariat of the National Population Council (NPC) and the Ghana Health Service (GHS) have bemoaned the relatively low use of modern contraceptives in the region despite the numerous educational campaigns carried out in the area over the years.

The region has a 12.6 per cent family planning acceptance rate.

The situation has been attributed to low media, male and community involvement in family planning issues, as well as poor collaboration among social partners in family planning educational campaigns.

The Regional Population Officer, Mr Alosibah Azam and the Regional Family Planning Coordinator, Mrs Wasila Taibu, expressed the sentiment at a media interaction on Family Planning in Bolgatanga.

The media engagement formed part of activities to mark this year’s World Population Day in the region.

The interaction was to, among other things, sensitise media practitioners and other stakeholders to the importance of family planning and the need for individuals and families to embrace it.

Other participants in the interaction included members of the Regional Population Advisory Committee (RPAC), the Regional Technical Working Group on Family Planning and religious and traditional authorities.

Challenges

Mrs Taibu stated that there were other challenges which included religious, socio-cultural barriers, fear of the side effects of family planning methods, the erratic supply of family planning commodities, financial constraints in carrying out family planning activities and poor family planning coverage.

She disclosed that out of 23 maternal deaths that occurred within the first half of this year, four of them were due to septic abortion while one occurred because of raptured uterus.

She, however, pointed out that the GHS was determined to improve the acceptance rate of family planning services from the current 12.6 per cent in the region to the projected 30 per cent by 2020.

According to Mrs Taibu, efforts would also be made to improve on data capturing, monitoring and the intensification of education for people to embrace family planning.

Fertility

Mr Azam observed that the Upper East Region was one of the poorest regions in Ghana, yet it had the highest total fertility rate, that is the average number of children born to a woman over her reproductive years, of 4.9.

"One of the main reasons that has made fertility remain relatively high is the comparatively low use of modern contraceptives," he stressed.

He noted that although media practitioners, traditional authorities and religious leaders had contributed immensely to sensitising the public, a lot more needed to be done in the area of family planning coverage.