Discussants at a dissemination workshop on the state of adolescent reproductive health financing in Ghana have asked government for a 15 per cent increment of its budgetary allocation to the health sector.
The increment, according to the discussants would ensure the health sector was adequately financed to create much awareness on the adolescent reproductive health.
Organised by the National Population Council (NPC) with support from Marie Stopes International Ghana the participants said the increment would also strengthen the health systems to better utilise budgets on family planning budgets which in the long term, translates government’s vision into action.
The event brought together health experts, civil society organisations and some government officials.
In a presentation delivered on the state of Adolescent Reproductive Health (ARH) financing in Ghana, Prof Kumi Kyere, a lecturer at the University of Cape Coast said Ghana in 2013 made significant improvement in the budgetary allocation of funds and has since dwindled.
He said the low spending has encouraged inequities, insufficient access and poor quality of healthcare services, saying that it is of utmost importance to spend more on public health.
Prof Kumi said “as a country, we should be showing clear commitment to transforming our adolescent and youth human resource into human capital, investing in the three priority areas for human capital development –health, education and employment. These are the guarantees to reaping demographic dividends.”
He said Ghana’s high teenage pregnancy and adolescent child bearing rates was currently pegged at 14.2 per cent which he described as highly unacceptable.
Lamenting on the high child bearing rates among adolescent girls, the Executive Director of the NPC, Dr Leticia Adelaide Appiah said it was time to work with all the relevant institutions to drastically reduce teenage pregnancy.
She noted that if there is any single investment government and donors must make to secure the future of this country, then it must be in the health, education and skills acquisition of its young people because they are the reflection of the future.
By Benedicta Gyimaah Folley