Family Planning, Key Concept for Maternal Health
Dr. Leticia Appiah, the Executive Director of the National Population Council, has called for improved awareness of family planning choices.
According to her, such a move will enable individuals and couples to make informed decision on their reproductive health, especially mothers.
Dr. Appiah was speaking at the launch of the Annual World Contraception Day and family Planning Celebration week organized by the Ghana Health Service in Collaboration with the Ministry of Health week in Accra yesterday.
Speaking on behalf of the Deputy Minister of Health Mrs. Tina Mensah, Dr. Leticia said the theme for the celebration, which is, ‘’Family Planning -Know your body, know your partner, know your option’’ echoed several key concepts necessary for any successful Family Planning programme.
She said knowing one’s body was essential in appreciating how different contraceptives work to prevent unwanted pregnancies.
Dr. Leticia also noted that family planning was essential, as it enabled mothers to adequately space their children, which helps them to be healthy since they are able to recover and regain their strength well enough.
She added that with regard to children, they are also well taken care of if spacing is done well through family planning.
Family planning Gaps
Mrs. Afua Aggrey Baab, expressed worry over the significant unmet needs of family planning in the country.
She noted that family planning had improved over the years with 63% of couples indicating that they want to jointly make a decision.
According to her, the demographic and Health Survey in 2014 indicated that 30% of currently married or sexually active women want to postpone their next pregnancy for 2years or more, or want to completely stop child bearing but are not using a current method of family planning method.
“It is therefore our duty to make sure that they have access to the various methods of family planning methods, understand the various options and be able to discuss with their partners and health providers’’, she pointed out.
She noted that only 36% of women in Ghana between the ages of 16 to 36 currently know their fertile period according to the Demographic and Health Survey, a knowledge she explained is very critical in adopting the natural family method.
Mrs. Baa appealed to health workers to ensure that couples have access to the various contraceptives and provide the needed information about them to their clients, and as well, teach them about their biology, and encourage couples to discuss these issues to ensure that they are providing quality service to all who need it, to allow them to voluntarily decide when and how many children they would like to have.
Source: Sarah Bandal Dubure/ [email protected]