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Sexual reproductive health rights key to sustainable development

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Deborah Daisy Kwabia, the Deputy Western Regional Director of Social welfare, has said sexual reproductive health right is key to obtaining sustainable development in the country.

She said proper education on reproductive health rights would help young people achieve their potential as well as enhance development.

“Providing adolescents with evidence based and comprehensive sexual education will help prevent unwanted pregnancies and the spread of STIs”.

Mrs Kwabia was speaking at the celebration of the World Population Day (WPD) in the Western Region held under the theme: “Reproductive Health and Gender Equality for sustainable development”.

The Deputy Regional Director said “If we have a well-educated, healthy, and economically empowered youth, the fortunes of the nation will transform positively”.

Mr David Gorman Hamond, Deputy Regional Coordinating Director, said the development of any country was tied to its knowledgeable and healthy youth population.

He said government has adopted various international and national conventions, policies and programmes which would have implications on individuals and families.

Mr Hamond said national commitment to universal basic education, gender equality, equity and empowerment of females, wealth creation and employment were some of the programmes put in place to address the needs of the youth.

He said the policies were meant to complement the number of existing national policies and action plans which would respond to the needs of the population and to the youth.

Mrs Freda Owusu-Ansah, the Regional Population Officer, said Ghana’s Population is currently projected to be 30.3 million with an annual growth rate of 2.2 per cent out of which 38.8 per cent are under 15 years.

She said the projected figure indicates that there is a rapid population growth rate of youth between 15-25 years.

Mrs Owusu-Ansah said there is the need for the government to make more progress to address the demographic situation so that it does not affect the growing population.

She said the 2000 Population census reveals that the Western Region grew from 1.9 million to 2.3 million in 2010 with a growth rate of 2.0 percent and that it could increase to 4.8 million by 2040.

Mrs Ansah said the region has a youthful population and this accounted for its numerous adolescents and reproductive health challenges.

The Regional Population Officer said with the region’s robust mining sector, timber and fishing industry and the recent discovery of oil and gas in commercial quantities, it would attract both local and foreign migrants.

Mr John H.K Ahiable of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), who presided, called on the public to consider the issues of population very seriously so as to find pragmatic solutions to the demographic dividend.

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