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17.02.2005 General News

JAK calls for more responsive parentage and citizenry

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Accra, Feb.17, GNA - President John Agyekum Kufuor on Thursday called for a more responsive parentage and citizenry to control the rate of population growth in the country.

He said with a high population rate of 2.7 per cent and a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 5.8 there was no way the country's socio-economic development could be accelerated.

President Kufuor made the call when a delegation from the National Leadership Group for Reproductive Health and Family Planning paid a courtesy call on him at the Castle, Osu.

The Group, determined to accelerate the momentum in educational campaigns for a reduction in the population rate also presented a report on their activities to the President for assistance.

President Kufuor said there was no doubt that control of the management of individual families had repercussions on the country's socio-economic and political development.

He called for a multi-sectoral approach and intensified education on programmes on Reproductive Health and Family Planning.

Mrs Virginia Ofosu-Amaah, Chairperson of the National Population Council, who led the delegation said the momentum on activities to sensitise the people on the two major programmes were vigorous in the 1970's but they had been slowed down in Ghana and other Africa countries.

She said in Ghana only 20 per cent of women in recognized unions used modern contraception, among sexually active women who wish to postpone or prevent the next pregnancy 40 per cent did not use any modern effective contraceptive.

Mrs Ofosu-Amaah said the number of unplanned and unwanted pregnancies was high, unsafe abortion rates were correspondingly high. She said the health and development consequences of such low access to family planning were very serious and weighed most heavily on those members of society who were most vulnerable such as the poor, rural dwellers, the young and the illiterate.

Mrs Ofosu-Amaah therefore, appealed to the Government to lead a major campaign for the repositioning of Family Planning as a high priority in the social and economic development strategies of the country.

"The main objective of the Group is to make Family Planning a popular people's movement. It is only your personal leadership which will help ensure the massive support needed both internally and externally", she added.

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