Bolgatanga, July 11, GNA – Mr Alosibah Akare Azam, Upper East Regional Population Officer on Wednesday said access to family planning was key in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) particularly, the goal that seeks to eradicate extreme poverty, and hunger.
According to him, achievement of universal primary education, promotion of gender equality, empowering women and ensuring environmental sustainability, were all areas that had direct linkages with population issues and family planning in particular.
“It is imperative that the Government of Ghana considers family planning as a human right and takes responsibility of ensuring its acceptance and accessibility to control population growth and propel Ghana’s sustainable economic growth and development”.
These were contained in a statement, signed and copied to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Bolgatanga, on the occasion of the celebration of World Population Day (WPD).
The global event, celebrated annually on July 11 is to create awareness on global population trends and their implications for development, was ratified by the governing Council of the United Nations General Assembly in 1987.
The global theme for this year’s celebration is: “Family Planning is a Human Right”, has a national theme as “Family Planning is a Human Right; An Imperative to Sustainable Economic Development”.
The statement indicated “when the population growth rate remains high, a much higher economic growth rate of at least three times the population growth is required to absorb the pressure of population growth on the economy. However, investment in family planning slows down population growth, improves socio-economic development, increases a country’s wealth and ensures self - sufficiency.”
It added that as the population increases, the demand for quality education, land for agricultural purposes, health care services, and infrastructure among others increased, putting the limited resources of the country in distress, which adversely affects investments and the country’s quest to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
The statement therefore called for intensive education and sensitization from the major stakeholders including the government and the Ghana Health Service (GHS) as well as the media to help demystify the misconception surrounding family planning, and promote its patronage.
“Despite the enormous benefits of family planning to the individual, family, the community, the region and the nation, there is low uptake of family planning in the Upper East Region.
“This is due to factors such as high level of myths and misconceptions about Family Planning, strong adherence to cultural and traditional practices, religious barriers, erratic supply of family planning commodities, low male involvement in family planning services, poor staff/service provider attitude towards clients and inadequate financial support for family planning programmes among other challenges.” It indicated.
The statement urged government to incorporate family planning services into health care services as fundamental human right to reduce population growth rate, thereby solving the incidence of urbanization, poor sanitation due to overcrowding, unemployment and poverty.