Family Planning; key to achieving SDGs

it is a fact that Ghana’s population keeps on increasing rapidly from 24.6
million in 2010 and is estimated to increase to 29.6 million in 2019 according
to the National Population Council (NPC). The current population of the country
per the United Nations (UN) is ranked the 48th in the list of densely
populated countries in the world.

the world mark World Population Day on July 11, 2019, it behooves on all
stakeholders, families and civil society organizations to support advocacy for
all Ghanaians to embrace family planning. This year’s theme is ‘reproductive
health and gender equality for sustainable development’.

population of Upper East Region for instance, a predominantly rural region, according
to statistics from the NPC would increase from 1, 046,545 in 2010 to an estimated
number of 1, 273,677 by the end of 2019.

repercussion of the growing population of the country can greatly affect the
country’s economy and social amenities. The country’s growing population turns
to create pollution due to a challenge in managing human excreta and rubbish.

in order to avert an overpopulated country and its challenges, individuals need
to embrace family planning. Family planning allows individuals or couples to
decide on the desired number of children, spacing and timing of birth. It is
achieved through the use of contraceptive methods.

planning empowers women, boosts the financial position of the family and
enhances socio-economic growth.

planning which slows down population growth increases a country’s wealth. There
is no doubt that when savings are made as a result of reduced government
expenditure on social services on its residents; there will be transformation
in the economy with more jobs created.

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wise, family planning has the potential of saving the lives of many women and
children and averting maternal mortality.

vision to provide equitable access to quality and child-friendly universal
education at the basic to Senior High School level will be hampered if
individuals and families do not embrace family planning concept. Also, a lower
population growth will lessen the burden on teachers and help maintain a low
teacher-pupil ratio for optimal teaching and learning.

on the other hand will be at ease in ensuring their wards get the best
education if they practice family planning.

will also spend less in building new schools and such investments can be used
to improve social interventions targeted at students.

access to family planning is key to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals
(SDGs) particularly, eradicating extreme poverty, ending hunger, good health,
quality education, promoting gender equality, good jobs and economic, as well
ensuring environmental sustainability.

1968 International Conference on Human Rights, held in Teheran, Iran, where
family planning was, for the first time, globally affirmed to be a human right states
that “parents have a basic human right to determined freely and responsibly the
number and spacing of their children.”

United Nation (UN) on many occasions such as the Addis Ababa Declaration on
Population and Development, the Beijing platform for Action as well the Cairo
International Conference on Population Development have championed the
importance of family planning. All these are geared towards attaining the SDGs.

East Regional Population Officer, Alosiba Akare Azam says the country can
achieve the SDGs if family planning concept is embraced by all.

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the population grows, it tells that families too are also having more people
and how to take care of them will be a challenge. So, if we don’t practice
family planning it will make the country difficult to achieve the Sustainable
Development Goals by 2030.”

Azam laments that despite the enormous benefits of family planning, the Upper
East Region for instance records low uptake of it due to religious and cultural

also says in traditional and religious settings, there are beliefs that man
must multiply to fill the earth. This, he says is a setback to government’s
advocacy on families to embrace family planning.

Way forward

way to address this developmental issue is the state institutions to intensify
sensitization and advocacy campaigns among traditional and religious leaders on
the importance and benefits family planning while dispelling myths and
misconceptions about it.

National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) should step up its sensitization as
it has roped in family planning in some municipal and district schemes across
the country.

Ghana Health Service should continue to provide orientation to its staff, as
sections of the public are raising red flags on poor attitude of staff which is
greatly affecting the acceptance of family planning.

media on the other hand should step up its education to wade off the stigma
associated with family planning concept.

family planning is treated as a human right, it has a long-term effect on the
economic growth and sustainable development to effectively move ‘Ghana Beyond

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This feature is written by Joshua


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