The Environmental Protection Association of Ghana (EPAG) has called on the media to support its advocacy for the inclusion of reproductive health supplies in the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
Mr John Kwadwo Owusu, Executive Director of Association, said this had become necessary due to shortfalls in contraceptive products from donors and a possible withdrawal of their assistance in the near future.
Speaking at an advocacy workshop for media practitioners in Kumasi on Tuesday, Mr Owusu said shortages of reproductive health supplies were undermining progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
He said contraceptives were left out of the list of services covered by the NHIS because it was assumed that they would be available and free in public sector clinics.
Mr Owusu said in view of the dwindling supply by donors, it was important that efforts were made to ensure that the government included them in the NHIS budget to enable majority of the people to have access to contraceptives.
He said “the consequences of failing to achieve the reproductive health commodity security aims are too painful to contemplate.”
Mrs Florence Hagan, Ashanti Regional Population Officer, said rapid population growth was a threat to national development and that the provision of comprehensive family planning services could save a number of women from dying through unsafe abortions.
Mrs Theresah Otuo Acheampong, Ashanti Regional Deputy Director of Nursing Services, said donors were withdrawing from supplying family planning items and appealed to the government to include them in its health budget so that they would be continuously available to majority of the people.
She said prevention of unwanted pregnancies was the surest way to control population growth and reduce maternal deaths.
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