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22.09.2004 Health

Survey reveals rising unplanned births

By GNA
Accra, Sept. 22, GNA - Unplanned births in the country increased from 36 per cent in 1998 to 40 per cent in 2003, according to the 2003 Ghana Demographic and Health Survey (GDHS) released in Accra.
Despite a steady rise in the level of contraceptive use over the last 15 years, the 2003 GDHS data indicate that unplanned pregnancies are common.
Speaking at a press conference in Accra on Wednesday, Dr Grace Bediako, Government Statistician, said there was a wide gap between the knowledge and use of contraceptives.
She said the burden of use of contraceptives was usually the woman's responsibility. However, she said, because there was the fear of risk of infertility associated with the use of contraceptives, some of these women had little confidence and fear that they would not be able to resume child birth once they got off the use of the pills.
Meanwhile, on some aspects of women's empowerment and status, the GDHS indicates that sexual autonomy is relatively high in the country, with nearly two-thirds of women agreeing that women are justified in refusing sex with a husband if he has a sexually transmitted disease or sex with other women.
Other reasons given are that a woman is justified in refusing sex with a husband if she has recently given birth or if she is not in the mood.
The GDHS, the fourth in a series, provides up-to-date information on population and the health situation.
Topics covered in the GDHS questionnaires included socio-economic information, housing characteristics, fertility, childhood mortality and nutrition. 22 Sept. 04


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