‘Dispel myths surrounding family planning and sexual reproductive health-TFHO

The Total Family Health Organisation (TFHO) has cautioned fisher folks to dispel myths surrounding family planning and sexual reproductive health.

That, the Family Planning Technical Advisor, TFHO, Ms Salamatu Abdulai said would improve their wellbeing and deepen their resilience to diseases, particularly Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs).

TFHO is a social marketing organisation working to encourage healthy behaviours and providing affordable health products across the country.

Ms Abdulai was speaking during an exhibition at this year’s National Fish Festival held in Accra recently on the theme “Promoting Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture for National Development.”

Instituted by the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development in 2015, the Fish Festival is aimed at providing a platform for fisher folks and other players along the fish value chain to showcase their products, engage the public and acknowledge their invaluable contributions to national food security.

Ms Abdulai said fisher folks believed that family planning was detrimental to one’s health, caused infertility and was a foreign induced method of cutting down on the number of children they could have.

“Economically they think that once they have more kids they will be able to support them go fishing. They also believe that when you have kids it is a form of wealth so if you tell them to limit or space up it is actually a bother to them,” she added.

Ms Abdulai said fisher folks also believed their women on picking up a family planning method would become promiscuous.

 “They say the methods make one hypertensive, cause hearts problems and cancers. They also believe that you are likely to have bleeding challenges,” she added.

Ms Abdulai said it was for those reasons the TFHO had collaborated with the USAID’s health marketing and fisheries recovery activities to leverage on the festival to communicate family planning messages and provide free services for fisher folks.

“We are here with Ebony condoms to raise the awareness on such myths and get them to patronise some for their own safety,” she added.

The Family Planning Technical Advisor, TFHO, said the organisation knew fishing communities were usually side-lined in matters of sexual reproductive health for which reason the organisation had taken it upon itself to sensitise them on the issue.

“In making efforts to increase access to quality sexual health and family planning, we are going the extra mile to places where people do not usually go to make sure that our fishing folks are engaged with quality sexual reproductive health and family planning,” he added.

Ms Abdulai explained that situations of bleeding after a method of family planning was unique to some individuals and could not be generalised as they were only side effects.

“Somebody can pick up a method and start bleeding, another can pick up the same method and will also not bleed so it is not myth but issues of side effects and then issues of myths and misconceptions,” she added.

Inspecting the products at the TFHO stand, the Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Mrs Mavis Hawa Koomson reiterated the need for fisher folks to dispel such myths and safeguard themselves with such contraceptives to improve their overall wellbeing.

She also commended the TFHO for its efforts inencouraging healthy behaviours and providing affordable health products across the country.

Heather D’Agnes, Chief of Party, Ghana Fisheries Recovery Activity indicated that the “USAID’s Feed the Future Initiative” had worked to boost the ecological recovery and growth of fish stocks in small fishing villages and landing sites in the country.

She said fisher folks were at the forefront of the conservation effort and with the seasonal closures, the country could expect to see its fish stocks increase to  boost the economy of fisher folks.


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