Ho, Sept. 30, GNA - Family Planning is a key strategy to achieving the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) five (5) of 185 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births in Ghana by 2015.
Skilled delivery and emergency obstetric care are the other essential requirements to achieving that goal.
Dr Winfred Ofosu, Deputy Director in charge of Public Health Volta Region, said this in an engagement with the media towards the national launch of the Family Planning week in Ho on October 2.
He said the maternal mortality ratio in Ghana stands at an estimated 350 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births.
śIt is therefore crucial for us to understand and use family planning methods effectively,ť he said.
Dr Ofosu said the 2008 Ghana Demographic Health Survey (GDHS) showed that knowledge on family planning is universal among men and women in Ghana but only 17 percent are using any modern family planning method.
Dr Ofosu said the GDHS also revealed that 35 percent of women in Ghana have unmet need for family planning, 22 percent for spacing and 13 percent for limiting births.
In the Volta Region the Survey showed that modern contraception use among married couples was 21 percent and unmet need for contraception use was 34 percent for whom the risk of unwanted pregnancies is high.
He said the Volta Region recorded about 3,000 abortion cases, 75 maternal deaths and over 10,000 teenage pregnancies in 2012 mainly due to unwanted pregnancies.
Dr Ofosu said there was therefore a compelling need to reduce unwanted pregnancies to improve maternal health and keep teenage girls in school.
Dr Ofosu said the reasoning behind the country™s free maternal care policy was to prevent the death of women who have decided to get pregnant and give birth rather than encourage unplanned pregnancies.
Dr Ofosu explained that vasectomy only sterilizes but does not render men who undergo it impotent.
He said the co-operation of men was crucial to making the country™s family planning drive successful.