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Health News Mon, 2 May 2011

Government urged to be committed to reproductive health issues

Kumasi, May 2, GNA - Mr Haruna Yoda, Ashanti Regional Coordinator of the Environmental Protection Association of Ghana (EPAG), a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), has underscored the need to include reproductive health supplies in the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

He observed that this would go a long way to enhance Family Planning and other reproductive health issues to address Ghana's high population growth rate, which currently stands at 2.7. Mr Yoda said currently, Family Planning Services are not covered under the NHIS.

The 2008 Ghana Demographic and Health Survey (GDHS) found that 13 per cent of adolescents had begun child-bearing in the country, reflecting the lack of quality Family Planning services to a very important and needy section of the population.

Mr Yoda was speaking at a day's sensitization workshop on Family Planning and the Environment organized jointly on Sunday by the EPAG and Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG) in Kumasi. It also aimed at sensitizing the participants on the dangers of uncontrolled population growth and the need to adopt Family Planning. The workshop was attended by 50 participants including assembly members, traditional rulers and heads of decentralized departments. Mr Yoda explained that Family Planning had been constrained by many factors such as lack of commitment and support for the programme from the highest levels of government, thus resulting in situation where there was high unpredictability of funding for such programmes. He was of the view that comprehensive Family Planning Care should be seen as a national development issue and not just as choice for the individual who could afford the cost.

He said effective reproductive health supplies and utilization help to manage growth for equitable distribution of state resources. Mrs Dorothy Gyinae, Deputy Director of Nursing Services at the Manhyia District Hospital in Kumasi, said one third of the 190 million women, who became pregnant every year worldwide, were unintended. This, she said, had contributed immensely to the uncontrolled population with its attendant negative consequences on state resources.

Source: GNA