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"We Need A National Campaign To Prevent Teen/Unplanned Pregnancy And Child Marriage" - Dr. L. Appiah

The Executive Director of the National Population Council (NPC), Dr. Leticia Adelaide Appiah is calling for a national campaign to prevent teen pregnancy, child marriage and unplanned pregnancy in Ghana.

The call comes at the back of the over troubling rates of unplanned pregnancies and child marriages in Ghana.

Speaking at the 2022 World Population Day Celebration in Ghana in Accra on Friday, she said "According to the Ghana Health Service, over 110,000 teen pregnancies are recorded annually. Mr. Chairman, whether planned or not, teenage pregnancies have potential complications; they may end up in unsafe abortions and or HIV/AIDS, child abandonment, high mortalities and morbidities with long term sequel"

She added that the celebration will focus on what Ghana needs to do in a concerted manner to decisively address the canker.

Dr. Appiah stressed that the celebration will also improve Ghana's health and efficiently improve the quality of human capital sustainably for Ghana beyond aid.

"To Midwives, Obstetrician, Gynecologists and Pediatricians, the benefits are instant, reduced workload and quality care for those who need care"

"To the Economists, it will reduce the per capita in the GDP per capita and thus increase the GDP per capita to improve the quality of life of citizens"

"To the Health Sector, it will reduce moralities and morbidities, thus improve health outcomes at a reduced cost and inadvertently contribute to families savings and the NHIS"

"To the Ghana Aids Commission, it will reduce the incidece of HIV and related social and cost implications. It will make it easier in meeting the 90 90 90 targets.

The Executive Director entreated the religious leaders, traditional authorities and local government to create committees to come out with programmes for implementation of such important national agenda.

"We need to put our hands, hearts and minds into this agenda to help build the nation we so wish to live in. The teenagers are not talking, they are acting more than talking so they are teaching us what to do. Yes we must and will talk, but we need to take action too"

On his part, the Country Representative A.I, UNFPA, Barnabas Yisa, said "This year, the UN is estimating the global population to reach 8 billion by 15th November. The temptation here is to look at the numbers on face value and not what it fully represents for development and sustainability of life on the plant"

He added that Sustainable national development will only be possible by ensuring that the reproductive rights and choices of individuals are respected and not violated.

He stressed that people should be given access to a wide range of family planning information and services in order for them to be able to make informed choices.

"As we celebrate World Population Day, we must critically take interest in data and the demographic profile of the country to inform development plans, equitable allocation of resources and for determined national priorities"

Mr. Yisa charged Ghana must in data and in human capital and remove barriers to opportunities to harness the potential of all people, including those traditionally marginalized; women, young people, elderly, disabled and migrants.

"Ghana must work with the other countries in the sub-region, especially its neighbours to share best practices and also, learn from the best practices of others to facilitate South-South and Triangular Cooperation (SSTC)"

He stressed that the government must also invest in disaster risk reduction and mitigation strategies and systems to ensure economic inequalities and low quality of life are not exacerbated among general population during incidences of floods and other natural disasters.

On his part, the Chief Executive of Officer (CEO), NHIA, Dr. Bernard Okoe Boye assured that family planning in the mix of health services under the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) will see its continuation and expansion under his tenure.

Story by: Joshua Kwabena Smith



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