29.03.2005 Health

Make reproductive health a right, not a privilege - Medical Officer

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Tamale, March 29, GNA- Dr. Kofi Issah a Senior Medical officer of the Ghana Health Service in Tamale has urged government to make reproductive health delivery a right to expectant mothers and not a privilege. He said, Ghana as a signatory of a number of International conventions, including NEPAP and the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS), makes it obligatory to fulfil its commitments to the international community. Dr Issah said this at the Northern Zonal Launch of the Alliance for Reproductive Health Rights, comprising Civil Society Organizations (CSO) from the Northern, Upper East and West Regions in Tamale on Tuesday. The Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC) in Tamale organized and sponsored the programme.

He said more often than not, women in the rural areas face a lot of difficulties during delivery because they have no information or access to health care facilities within their communities.

Dr Issah said there was the need for civil society organisations to lobby with stakeholders in health care delivery to have sexual and reproductive health rights included in the medical, public health, nursing and law curricula to improve and build upon their capacity. As regards to the public/ private sector health delivery, Dr Issah said the private sector had been historically, providers of welfare and relief, adding that 1056 out of 2231 health facilities in the various regional health care delivery centres are private.

Madam Rosemond Kumah, Programmes Coordinating Officer of ISODEC for Northern Ghana said the main focus of the Alliance is to monitor the planning, implementation and evaluation processes of the National Health Insurance Scheme and advise government on how it could successfully implement it, especially in deprived areas. March 29 05

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