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General News Sat, 9 May 2009

Make family planning part of development plans - Abina

Koforidua, May 9, GNA - Mr Kofi Abina, the Eastern Regional Population Officer, has called for the integration of family planning into HIV/AIDS activities and the development plans of the country. He explained that, this was necessary if the country was to control population growth vis-=E0-vis its economic growth rate to promote socio-economic development targets. Mr Abina, who was addressing members of the Eastern Regional Population Advisory Committee at Koforidua at the weekend, explained that family planning was essential to women's search for greater economic opportunities, higher incomes, education, human rights and autonomy.

In addition, he said, it was vital in the fight to reduce infant and maternal mortality, prevent Sexually Transmitted Infections and enhance the lives of people with HIV. Mr Abina said because the promotion of family planning had slowed down, the Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (CPR) of the country had also declined from 19 per cent in 2003 to 17 per cent as at end of 2008. He said research has indicated that 34 per cent of people, who needed family planning services in the country, could not get. This he added has resulted in unintended pregnancies, unsafe abortions, unplanned births and high fertility rates.

Mr Abina, therefore, advocated the strengthening of capacities for effective collaboration and co-ordination of family planning activities at community, district, regional and national levels. He called on planners at ministries, departments and agencies to ensure that family planning was factored into development plans backed by adequate budget.

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Mr Abina urged politicians, traditional rulers and leaders of faith-based organisations to advocate the integration of family planning into development plans. 9 May 09

Source: GNA
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