Ghana making progress in contraceptive usage – Specialist

Dr. Ismail NdifunaGhana is making progress in the adoption and usage of contraceptives compared to other countries in West Africa, Dr. Ismail Ndifuna, Specialist, Maternal Health and Family Planning at the United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA), has said.

This, he said, had contributed to a drop in the birth rate of seven children to one family, about five years ago, to about four presently.
Dr. Ndifuna said despite the progress, there was the need for health authorities to ensure universal access to contraception and family planning tools.
Speaking to Ghanaian Times in Accra yesterday, Dr.Ndifuna opined that the use of contraceptives and family planning methods must be scaled up to ensure that child birth was done by choice and not by chance.
He has therefore asked government to implement its commitment to increase contraceptive procurement by three million dollars each year and also speed up processes of including family planning on the National Health Insurance (NHIS) package.
Dr.Ndifuna described family planning as a tool for development, considering its health, human rights and economic benefits to a country.
From the economic perspective, he explained that family planning ensured that a couple planned well for their children to enjoy better education, among others, while helping reduce maternal mortality.
“The interesting thing about Ghanaian family planning programme is that when you look at the regions and you compare their contraceptive prevalent rate, both rural and urban areas are at the same level, an indication that family planning interventions are evenly distributed,” he said.
Dr.Ndifuna asked communities and institutions to support women in selecting their family planning choices as it was an effective measure to control the birth rates in Ghana.
He encouraged the government to invest in family planning and remove barriers that prevent people from using family planning services.
BY LINDA NAA DEIDE ARYEETEY

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