Mr. Davis Yeboah Aboagye, the Bono Regional Officer of the National Population Council (NPC) says religious and certain socio-cultural beliefs about the use of contraceptive are contributing to the ever-increasing cases of unsafe abortion in the country.
He has therefore made a passionate appeal to the National Health Insurance Authority to include family planning services on the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to motivate and increase the use of contraceptives among married as well as sexually active adults as a way of controlling population growth, spacing of children and reducing unwanted pregnancies.
He told the media in Sunyani that family planning is one of the vital factors of population management which plays a pivotal role in national development but expressed worry that a bill to capture family planning services on the NHIS has remained in Parliament since 2011 without it being passed into law.
According to Mr. Aboagye, religious and socio-cultural beliefs, low economic status, low level of education and perceived side effects of contraceptive use are barriers and causes of low patronage of contraceptives, which is undoubtedly contributing to the increased number of unwanted pregnancies and unsafe abortions in Ghana.
Mr. Aboagye stated women empowerment and gender equality are also necessary for societies to advance, therefore "it is critically needed for all stakeholders to join hands with government in managing the country's rapid population growth".
He said the World Contraception Day (WCD) launched in 2017 and marked on September 26 every year focuses on creating awareness about contraceptive knowledge and family planning to enable young people make informed choices on their sexual and reproductive health.
The Ghana government affirmed the family planning Programme of Action to recognise reproductive health and rights as foundation to development, hence the quest to achieve 50 per cent contraceptive prevalence rate by 2034, Mr. Aboagye informed.
He added One of the objectives of the 2017 Revised National Population Policy is increasing Contraceptive Prevalence Rate for modern methods among currently married women from 22 per cent in 2014 to 35 per cent in 2024 and to 50 per cent in 2034.