The Minister of Health, Alexander Segbefia, has said Ghana over the past few years continue to record low usage of contraceptives and unisex condoms,
He said inadequate knowledge on where to access condoms, and the misconception about the use of contraceptive, affected the use of contraceptives to prevent sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies.
Mr. Segbefia made the observation in a speech read on his behalf by Dr. Afisa Zachariah, Chief Director at the Ministry of Health, at the launch of this year’s national family planning week and the commemoration of the world contraception day, in Accra yesterday.
The minister said: “There is an urgent need to ensure that family planning becomes part of development efforts.”
Dr. Ebenezer Appiah Denkyira, Director General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), urged religious and traditional leaders to promote the use contraceptives and family planning methods in their communities.
“The effective use of family planning can help reduce maternal mortality by 30 per cent, and control the rapid population growth and the tension on national resources,” he said.
Dr. Denkyira said family planning could help to manage the population towards national development and reduce maternal and child mortality, which unwanted pregnancy and improper spacing of children had been identified as a major cause.
He noted that between 20 and 30 per cent of all maternal deaths were caused by unsafe abortions.
This year’s family planning week would be observed on the theme: “Family planning –It your life, take control, it an everyday thing.”
It seeks to educate the public on how family planning can be used to control and reduce Ghana’s fast growing population for sustainable development.
The World Contraception Day (WCD), which takes place on September 26 every year, seeks to create awareness on contraception, and to enable young people make informed choices on their sexual and reproductive health.
By Linda Naa Deide Aryeetey