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18.10.2008 General News

Ghana Facing Population Explosion

By Dorothy Ankomah -

THE chairman of the Ghana AIDS Commission, Pro-fessor F.T. Sai, has expressed worry about the soaring growth rate of the country's population.

He said with the current growth rate of 2.6 per cent, the country's population was expected to double in 35 years.

Ghana's population is currently around 23 million.  

Prof. Sai said the growth rate will lead to a loss in national development if government continues to inject money into the free health care deliver.

He, therefore, called on the Ghana Coalition of Non Governmental Organisation (NGOs) in Health, to use their collective strengths to support government efforts at providing maternal health care to the average Ghanaian woman.

He said family planning and support, adolescent sexual and reproductive health rights, were key to reducing the material mortality ratio in Ghana.

Prof Sai made this known at the First Annual National Civil Society Health Forum in Accra on Thursday.

The two-day forum which was under the theme, “Civil Society Organisations in Partnership to promote Health”, was aimed at improving the health status and the living conditions of the people as well as to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The Deputy Minister of Health, Dr Gladys Ashietey, noted that the forum had come at a time when the health sector was looking at options for increasing coverage and improving chances of people who were disadvantaged to access health services without difficulty.

“Such noble, but no doubt, difficult aspirations cannot be realised without the full collaboration of civil society organisations”, she added.

She noted that partners within the non-state sector particularly, civil society organisations, play an invaluable role in health service delivery.

“By working closer with communities and families, the Ministry of Health recognises the added value you give to health services by reaching where the public sector services do not reach”, she reiterated.

A representative of UNFPA, Makane Kane, commended the coalition for the forum and called on civil society organisations to coordinate their activities and realign their resources to eliminate duplications and to achieve impact for the programme's implementation.

He noted that Ghana needs to have innovative strategies to achieve the health indicators of the MDGS by the year 2015.

“We need to do different things with different approaches to consolidate the gains made so far and also explore new avenues,” he added.