The Government Statistician, Dr Philomena Nyarko, has advised women to patronise long-acting contraceptives as their family planning (FP) method.
The long-acting methods include intra uterine device (IUD) and implants which help prevent pregnancy and proper spacing of children leading to low fertility rate in the country.
Speaking at a validation meeting on contraceptive prevalence rate, goals and targets for Ghana in Accra last Friday, she disclosed that the long-acting contraceptive methods were more active than the short-acting methods which included condoms, explaining that they did not have any side effects and their failure rates were low.
Dr Nyarko stressed that women should be empowered to access and obtain the appropriate information on the types of contraceptives suitable for their bodies, saying,“when women have knowledge on contraceptives, they will have control over their reproductive health,” which would address the demand of FP in the country.
She added that the increasing rate in the country’s population was alarming and therefore there was the need for the use of long-acting methods to reduce the national population and improve on development in the country.
Dr Nyarko, who underscored the need to achieve a lower fertility rate, said mortality rate would in turn decline and the labour sector would have people to contribute their quota to development.
She said it would also help the government in planning to meet the development needs.
She disclosed that the Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (CPR) was 26.7 per cent, however, its effect on the fertility rate was a challenge to the Ministry of Health (MoH) and the Ghana Health Service (GHS).
Dr Nyarko stated that to increase the current CPR growth rate by 1.1 per cent per year the high fertility rate of the country would have to be curbed to make it achievable.
The Policy, Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Director of the MoH, Mr Owusu Ansah, said FP was an important contributor to Ghana’s overall development agenda.
It is for this reason, he said, that Ghana was committed to making FP free in the public sector and also support the private sector to improve its services.
He allayed the fears about the side effects of contraceptives which made a lot of women to discontinue their use, saying that most of the side effects were perceived and not real.
He said while there were other reasons why many of the women discontinued the use of contraceptives as a birth control method, the fear of side effects topped the list.
Unlike the developed countries where the long-acting methods were the most preferred method, it was the least preferred in Ghana, he said, adding that most women preferred the withdrawal method. He added that there was no record for the use of the female condom.
He, however, stated that unlike the injectable, IUD and a few other methods, the rest of the services could be procured over the counter at pharmacies and chemical shops, and as such it was not easy getting information from service providers.
That notwithstanding, he advised that before one chose a method, one needed to speak to a health worker who would advise him/her on the options available and the one suitable for him or her.
Source: Daily Graphic
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