Fiapre (B/A), June 29,GNA - Mr Kwadwo Nyamekye Marfo, Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, said family planning is a priority on the national development plan of government since an unplanned family has adverse effects on national development.
Mr Nyamekye Marfo said in an address read for him at the launch of two new vaccines for pneumonia and rotavirus diarrhoea during the celebration of the Family Planning Week under the theme: “Contraceptive, Your Right to Accurate Information,” at Fiapre near Sunyani.
He said the theme was appropriate and timely as it would enable every one to adequately access information and be equipped with knowledge on family planning.
The regional minister noted that some socio-cultural practices were a hindrance to the accessment of family planning and called on traditional authorities to help abolish such practices to ensure easy accessibility.
Mr Nyamekye Marfo called on service providers to avail themselves to the improvement of their knowledge and be courteous to those who sought their services.
He advised health personnel to accept postings to rural areas where the people needed better health care.
Dr Timothy Letsa, Brong Ahafo Regional Director of Health Services, said the objective of introducing the two new vaccines was to reduce illnesses and deaths due to pneumonia and diarrhoea in children less than five years.
He noted that last year the region recorded 9,123 cases of pneumonia and 31 deaths while diarrhoea recorded 13,585 with 128 deaths.
The regional director said the introduction of the vaccines for pneumonia and rotavirus diarrhoea was timely and that the service providers had been well trained to administer the vaccines.
On family planning, he said the acceptance rate in the region had declined within the last two years adding; “in 2011 the family planning acceptance rate was only 37 per cent.”
Dr Letsa stressed that unsafe abortion was one of the key challenges that faced the region in the delivery of reproductive health, adding that maternal mortality was unacceptably high as 76 maternal deaths were recorded last year.
He said the region had put interventions such as ensuring regular supply of family commodities and improving emergency obstetric care in place to improve reproductive health.
Nana Opoku Ababio, Chief of Fiapre, who presided, called for a legislation to prosecute parents who negligently caused the death or otherwise of their children by not immunizing them.
He encouraged all mothers to visit health facilities and seek information on family planning and other services provided.
A drama was showcased on the advantages of using family planning methods and disadvantages of not using them.
Family planning includes all measures that enable a couple to have the number of children they desire to contribute to the growth and survival of the family as a unit of society, he said.
The health service providers went on a procession through the streets of Fiapre with placards some of which read, “Become a woman before you become a mother, Vaccines are life-saving”.
The two new vaccines were introduced by the Ghana Health Service in partnership with Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization.