The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) has introduced Family Planning (FP) services onto the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) in the Nabdam District of the Upper East Region.
The introduction of the family planning forms part of efforts to encourage and promote high patronage of Family Planning practices among the citizenry,
The initiative is being piloted in five other selected Municipalities and Districts in the country including the Bolgatanga Municipal and Bawku West in the Upper East Region and Obuasi Municipal in the Ashanti Region, Adaklu-Anyigbe District in the Volta region and Mankessim in the Central Region.
It is aimed at motivating, educating and sensitising the people on the need to adopt and practice Family Planning.
The move, which would be effectively partnered by the Ghana Health Service (GHS), would also contribute to the efforts being made to reduce maternal and infant mortality rates, unwanted pregnancies and abortion among youth, which mostly lead to school dropouts and health complications as well as improve the wellbeing of women and children in general.
These were revealed at a durbar organised by the District NHIS at Kotintaabig in the Nabdam District of the Upper East Region to educate the people in the area, which included youth and adults to patronise family planning services to promote reproductive health and ensure socio-economic development.
Mr Denis Asolmia, the District Health Promotion Officer of GHS explained that the idea of family planning was not to stop them from given birth but to help families to effectively space their children to positively impact on the growth and development of their children.
It was also to prepare the woman adequately for her next pregnancy without health complications and ensure sustainable development of the country.
He noted that high population would put the families in distress, especially the rural communities where poverty affected the proper growth of children and led to social vices as well as put huge burden on the already unstable economy to provide the social, education and economic needs of the citizenry.
Mr Asolmia advised the people especially the youth against promiscuity as the methods do not protect one against Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and other related diseases, adding, “not all the family planning methods are covered, but those that can only be provided and technically monitored by health personnel.”
“The Health Insurance covers methods such as the Intrauterine Device (IUD), implant, vasectomy and tuba litigation among others because; all these can be monitored by us. But the one month method, pills and condoms are not part of the free family planning policy because they cannot be monitored by any health personnel.”
The District Health Promotion Officer, who doubled as the District Family Planning Coordinator, admonished the people to embrace the intervention as it would help reduce the endemic poverty that was prevalent in the area, which was preventing them from meeting their daily basic needs.
Whilst urging couples to consider family planning as marriage issue and always reach mutual understanding about the method to practice, the District Family Planning Coordinator indicated that “health is wealth and healthy human resources can contribute significantly to help build our nation.”
Mr Asolmia charged the people to take good care of their NHIS cards and ensure that they were valid and asked those who did not have to endeavour to get enrolled in order to derive maximum benefit from the initiative.
Madam Stella Adu-Amankwah, Deputy Director, Corporate Affairs Directorate at the NHIA, acknowledged the problems associated with implementation of the Scheme and indicated that numerous measures have been in place including internal policing to ensure compliance, review of the financing model to make financially viable, ICT monitoring system as well as review of the legal frame work of the Scheme to address the challenges.
Whilst thanking the people for their cooperation, she urged them to adopt family planning methods so as to control the population growth of the country and release the pressure on families and government.
The intervention would commence on May 1, 2018 in all the six selected Municipalities and districts across the country and would only register those who are valid NHIS subscribers for free.