Deputy Director General of the GHS, Dr Gloria Quansah said women stand a better chance of changing their status and wellbeing through improved access to reproductive health services, including family planning.
She, therefore, noted that there was the need to persist in efforts to dispel all myths and misconceptions to make Family Planning desirable to all.
She made this statement during the launch of this year’s family planning week celebration in Accra, under the theme ‘Family Planning: Know your body, know your partner, know your option’.
The deputy DG said the goal of the health sector is to increase the availability and access to quality family planning across the length and breadth of the country.
“The Ghana Demographic and Health Survey in 2014 estimated that in Ghana the use of modern contraceptive methods among married women is 22%. It means that we are much further away from achieving our national targets for contraceptive prevalence than we otherwise would have been,” she added.
Dr Quansah also mentioned that there was compelling evidence that practicing family planning yields many health and socio-economic benefits by managing and slowing population growth, reducing exposure to unwanted pregnancies, preventing unsafe abortions and reducing maternal deaths.
She stated that in Ghana many unintended pregnancies end up as unsafe abortions, which, according to recent studies, account for between 20 to 30 per cent of all maternal deaths. The availability of reliable contraception, regardless of age or ability to pay, is an essential step in preventing such deaths.
Executive Director of the Ghana Population Council, Dr Leticia Adelaide, also said government made four important commitments at the 2017 World Summit of Family Planning, which included supplies and services of family planning for national health benefit and increasing government contribution into buying family planning commodities with regard to programming and service delivery.
“Government is also committed to increasing the number of women using modern contraception from 1.46 to 1.93 million by the year 2020, and committed to scheme out sexual and reproductive health interventions to increase the percentage of sexually active adolescent using contraceptives from 31.5 to 35 per cent by the year 2020.”
She said knowing one’s body is essential in appreciating how different contraceptives work to prevent pregnancy, knowing your partner includes the quality of lives of individuals and co-operation of spouses during the use of family planning, and individuals or couples who know their options are better equipped with the provider’s support.
She said family planning and the use of contraceptives is a serious and personal decision made by informed couples or individuals.
The day also coincided with the World Contraceptive Day.