Dr Archibald Letsa, Volta Regional Minister, has pledged the commitment of Government to making the required investments in family planning to reduce population growth.

Dr Letsa said reducing population growth was key to ensuring sustainable national development.  He said Ghana, through family planning, could attain a lower fertility rate, which would lead to a more balanced age structure conducive for economic growth and development.

He explained that family planning would lead to small family sizes which would afford parents the opportunity to adequately provide for the needs of their children and nurture them into skilled human resources to drive the economy of the country.

Dr Letsa said the incidence of small family sizes and a manageable and productive population would also afford Government the opportunity to adequately provide the basic necessities of life and social amenities— schools and hospitals— for its citizens as well as create jobs to match up with the population numbers while the citizens would save and invest money to boost the economy.

He, therefore, stressed the need to ensure that family planning was acceptable, affordable, available and accessible to all, adding that stakeholders should ensure that individuals and couples understood the benefits of birth spacing which, he said, included a reduction in maternal and child mortality, improvement in children’s physical and cognitive develoment, boosting women’s health and resulting in increased productivity.

The Regional Minister, who was delivering the keynote address at the commemoration of this year’s World Population Day (WPD) at Sokode Gbogame in the Volta Region on Wednesday, July 11, 2018, therefore, called for the inclusion of a budget line for the procurement of contraceptive commodities to boost family planning coverage and reduce costs, and, more importantly, make family planning commodities readily available for use.

in an address delivered on his behalf, Mr Niyi Ojuolape, Country Representative, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), was emphatic that access to family planning was key to  achieving the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of eradicating extreme poverty, hunger, achieving universal primary education, promoting gender equality, empowering women and ensuring environmental sustainability.

Mr Ojuolape said the dynamics of population impacted on socio-economic development, adding that urbanization, unemployment, migration, poverty and issues related to sexual and reproductive health should not be ignored.

He, therefore, called for conscious efforts to link effective population management with sectors such as education, health, economy, environment and agriculture to improve the well-being of the people and urged the Government of Ghana to make family planning a household issue, accessible to all who needed it by taking into consideration the ability and power possessed by policy makers.

In an address delivered on her behalf, Dr Leticia Adelaide Appiah, Executive Director, National Population Council (NPC), said there was the need to integrate family planning within the health system in order to empower women, men and young persons to access family planning information and services, so as to save the lives of women and children, and to improve child health care.

Dr Appiah  said strenuous efforts were required to   achieve global and national development targets  and urged policy makers, family, community and traditional heads to collaborate to make family planning accessible to all who needed it,  while pledging the commitment of NPC to contributing its quota to those efforts.

In a statement read on his behalf, Dr Rashid Pelpuo, MP for Wa Central and Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Population, stressed the need to redouble efforts to accelerate the decline in fertility through family planning.

Dr Pelpuo pledged the commitment of Parliament to supporting advocacy on the promotion of family planning through a change in legislation and policy direction.

In their solidarity messages, a representative of the Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC) underscored the importance of testing and treatment for Human Immuno-deficiency  Virus (HIV) in order to stop its progression to Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome AIDS), adding that the objective was to end  AIDS by the year 2030.

On its part, the Ghana Health Service pledged to collaborate with the NPC to provide accessible family planning to all Ghanaians while the Department of Women urged parents to ensure that members of the family remained healthy and strong.

Mr Henry Alipo, Regional Population Officer, disclosed that plans were almost concluded to make the National Health Insurance Scheme cover family planning services and commended all partners for the support.

Torgbi Korku Ayim IV, Paramount Chief of the Ziavi Traditional Area and Chairman for the occasion, abhorred the incidence of teenage pregnancies.

Torgbi Ayim underscored the role of men as key to the promotion of family planning and, therefore, urged them to partner and support their wives in promoting family planning.

It was in 1987 when the Governing Council of the United Nations General Assembly instituted World Population Day to be commemorated on the 11th day of July, every year.

The focus of the Day is to create awareness on global population trends and their implications for development.

This year’s WPD was commemorated on  the global theme: Family Planning is a Human Right while in Ghana, the commemoration was organized by the NPC, with support by UNFDA on the national theme: Family Planning is a Human Right: An imperative To Sustainable Development.

In attendance were school children who arrived at the durbar grounds with brass band music and carrying placards, some of which read: Family Planning, Simply the Best; Family Planning is a Human Right; Family Planning is a Happy Family; Family Planning Prevents Maternal Deaths; and Family Planning is Key to Safe Motherhood.

Source: ISD (G.D. Zaney)

Created: 12 July 2018
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