Government commits to improving access to reproductive health

Narobi (Kenya)- The Government of Ghana has pledged its commitment to improving universal access to reproductive health services and reduce maternal mortality rates of 70 per 100, 000 live births, as well as maternal morbidity by 2030.

It further commits to reducing under-five mortality rate to below 12 per 1000 live births also by 2030, and enhance access for all vulnerable groups including Persons with Disability to the full complement of family planning information and services.

The Government said it would also engage young people meaningfully, bringing to ‘zero’ all incidences of gender-based violence and harmful practices including child marriages and female genital mutilation.

Dr Kodjo Mensah-Abrampa, the Director-General of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), said this at the ongoing Global Summit of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD25) in Nairobi.

He said the commitment took stock of progress made within the past 25 years of implementing the ICPD-Programme of Action (PoA) in the country, the challenges as well as prospects for acceleration of its objectives.

He noted that although substantial progress had been made in addressing the country’s population and reproductive health issues, it had been slow in some areas, and that much more work would be required to cover all areas.

He said Ghana stood committed to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which also re-echoed the ICPD by placing people, planet and prosperity at the centre of development and leaving no one behind.

Dr Mensah-Abrampa cited the progress made in gender parity, especially in education from kindergarten to the secondary levels, maternal and child mortality rates, poverty reduction, contraceptive prevalence among the youth and older persons, Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) and irregular migration.

Based on these the Government reaffirmed further commitments to the implementation of the ICPD promise of ensuring Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) services as affirmed by the SDGs and ensure fundamental rights by upholding, respecting and protecting all individual rights.

Other commitment included harnessing the demographic dividend for sustained socio-economic growth and development and ensuring that progress was made in the other key sectors of the economy.

Dr Mensah-Abrampa said Ghana was committed to ensuring universal access, reducing to six per cent unmet needs for family planning and services by 2030, equality, affordability, and safe modern contraceptives for all men, women, and youth who needed those services.

To achieve this, more domestic financial resources would be mobilised through innovative financing instruments and sources.

Government, he said, was also committed to further enhancing access for all adolescents and youth to culturally sensitive and age-appropriate information, education and adolescent-friendly and responsive reproductive health services.

It would also ensure equitable distribution of resources to all health facilities across geographic regions including posting of health professionals.

Another key commitment is to enhance the availability of data for accountability and decision making by ensuring good and disaggregated population and administrative data, and investing in digital innovations and integrated data systems.

It is also important that Ghana commit to strengthening partnership with the private sector, Civil Society Organisations, young people, development partners, religious and community leaders and other groups in the country and establish structures for effective engagement on the implementation of the ICPD and other PoAs.

The three-day Nairobi ICPD25 Summit was co-organised by the governments of Kenya and Denmark as well as the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

It focused on endorsing the voluntary global commitments that are largely centered on the “three zeros” of eliminating preventable maternal deaths, unmet needs for family planning, and gender-based violence including harmful practices such as female genital mutilation against women and girls among other limitations.

Source: Ghana News Agency