‘Include family planning in NHIS’

The Bono Regional Officer of the National Population Council (NPC), Davis Yeboah Aboagye, has appealed to the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) to include family planning services in the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

He said this would motivate and increase the use of contraceptives among married as well as the sexually active adults, to control population growth, ensure spacing of children and reducing unwanted pregnancies.

Mr Aboagye, in an interaction with journalists in Sunyani, attributed increasing cases of unsafe abortion in the country to negative religious and socio-cultural beliefs about the use of contraceptives.

He said that family planning was vital to population management, which played a pivotal role in national development.

Mr Aboagye expressed worry that a bill to ‘capture’ family planning services in the NHIS has remained in Parliament since 2011.

According to him, religious and socio-cultural beliefs, low economic status, low level of education and perceived side effects of contraceptive use were barriers and causes of low patronage of contraceptives, “which is undoubtedly contributing to the increased number of unwanted pregnancies and unsafe abortions in Ghana.”

Mr Aboagye stated women empowerment and gender equality were necessary for societies to advance, therefore “it is critically need for all stakeholders to join hands with government in managing the country’s rapid population growth”.

He said the World Contraception Day (WCD) launched, in 2017, and marked on September 26 every year, focuses on creating awareness on contraceptive knowledge and family planning, to enable young people make informed choices on their sexual and reproductive health.

The Ghana government affirmed the family planning Programme of Action to recognise reproductive health and rights as foundation to development, hence the quest to achieving 50 per cent contraceptive prevalence rate by 2034, Mr Aboagye said.

He said the objective of the 2017 Revised National Population Policy was to increase contraceptive prevalence rate for modern methods among currently married women from 22 per cent in 2014 to 35 per cent in 2024 and to 50 per cent in 2034.


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