In the country’s quest to control population growth and promoting development, the National Development Planning Commission(NDPC) in partnership with the Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG) and the United Populations Fund (UNFPA) have organised a stakeholders’ forum in Accra, on controlling population growth and promoting development in Africa and beyond.
The forum was with the aim to enable stakeholders to discuss and make recommendations ahead of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) slated for November this year in the capital city of Kwnya, Nairobi.
The much anticipated conference will enable stakeholders, including representatives from the UN, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), Population and Development Experts, and young people, among others, to mobilise political will as well as financial commitment towards the implementation of the ICPD programme of action (Poa).
To make an impact at the Nairobi Conference, stakeholders at the forum developed topics they believe should be discussed at the Conference included Population Growth and Structure; Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights; Gender Equality, Equity and Empowerment of Women; Interrelationship between Population, Sustained Economic Growth and Sustainable Development.
Other topics are Health, Mobility and Mortality, Family Planning, Population Distribution, Urbanisation, Internal and International Migration.
In his presentation on “ICPD and the Unfinished Agenda” Professor Stephen Kwankye of the Regional Institute for Population Studies, University of Ghana pointed out that, the advancement of gender equality, equity and women empowerment should be central to population development programmes.
Indicating that, population related goals and policies is an integral part of a country’s cultural and social development.
The ICPD, he disclosed, have key principles, which calls for strengthening of family basic unit of society that, everyone should be given the right to education, aimed at a full development of the country’s human resources.
Furthermore, stressed that, the principles also calls on all states and families to give the highest possible priority to children, and adequate social welfare services for documented migrants.
With regards to sustainable development, Prof. Kwankye revealed that, it requires full recognition of the proper and harmonious management of the interrelationships between population, resources, the environment and development.
“All states and people need to cooperate towards eradicating poverty as an indispensable requirement for sustainable development and everyone has the right to physical and mental health,” he acknowledged.
To him, Mr Niyi Ojuolape, Country Representative of the UNFPA, some parts of Africa are to date till practising rights infringing acts, like the Female Genital Mutilation, which have been reduced as a result of the intensification of education on the human rights agenda, which was a good effort on the part of stakeholders.
He however disclosed that, consultations are ongoing with parliaments of some countries, including Ghana, for partnerships and collaborative effort to protect the rights of women, control population growth and promote national development.
Meanwhile, the Executive Director of PPAG, Mrs Abena Adubea Amoah who quoted the World Health Organisation (WHO), pointed out that, “Unmet need is especially high among adolescents, migrants, urban-slum dwellers, refugees and women in the postpartum period”.
“The UNFPA in its 25th Anniversary Edition of the Outlook Journal, Volume 25, states that, changes in the political environment, funding mechanisms and organisations of health systems have created new challenges for meeting the need for family planning,” she added.
Noting that, family planning was among a handful of feasible and cost-effective interventions that could make an immediate impact on maternal mortality in low-resource settings.
Therefore explained that, family planning can also reduce maternal mortality by reducing the number of pregnancies and, hence the need to promote it among families.
Source: Ishmael Barfi