Cultural, Religious Beliefs Opposing Family Planning In Upper East Region
| Updated Aug 23, 2017 at 12:06pm
The Upper East Regional Population Officer, Alosibah Azam, has observed that family planning is key to addressing maternal mortality and teenage pregnancy in the region and the country at large.
Mr. Azam who made the observation at a media interaction on Family Planning organized by the Upper East Regional Population Council in Bolgatanga regretted that despite the noble idea of family planning, many people shied away from adopting it because of the negative perception some people held about the concept.
He stressed that it was important for one to learn about the different kinds of contraception before choosing the best to avoid any negative experiences.
In Ghana and the Upper East Region, the family planning acceptance rates for 2014 were 29.2 percent and 28.9 percent respectively. This means that about 70.8 percent and 77.8 percent in their fertility ages in Ghana and Upper East Region probably needed family planning services but could not access them because of fear of experience of side effects, cultural and religious opposition among others.
Mr. Azam wondered why the region is one poorest region in the country yet has the highest average numbers of children born to women over her reproductive years that is a total rate of 4.9 percent.
According to him, the main reason that has made fertility to remain relatively high is the comparatively low use of modern contraceptives.
In an interview with Radio Ghana’s Samuel Ayammah in Bolgatanga, a Midwife at the Bolgatanga Regional Hospital, Mary Azika who is also a Family Planning Resource person in the Upper East Region, who underscored the need to patronize family planning stated that apart from curbing the spate of maternal mortality and teenage pregnancies, family planning presented opportunities for women to pursue additional education and participate actively in public life.
She said having few children also afforded parents the good opportunity to invest more in each child’s development and helped slow down unsustainable population growth and the resulting negative impacts on the economy, environment and national and regional development efforts.
She expressed concern about adolescent girls leaving school due to pregnancies and the complications they go through before delivering and have the highest rate of neo-natal mortality.
Mrs. Azika appealed to married men to encourage their wives to patronize family planning.
She said the main challenge they face when educating couples about the need to patronize the service is the perception some of the men has conceived that they are telling them the number of children they should have.
Mrs. Azika described the development as unacceptable called on queen mothers and all concern stakeholders to help educate the general public.
She added that family planning is not for only married people but for all adults.
The Upper East Regional Family Planning Coordinator, Wasila Taibu, took participants through the various types of family planning and impressed on stakeholders particularly traditional rulers to encourage their community members to patronize family planning services.
She said anybody who wants to patronize the service should not fear or panic since they will be screened properly and recommend the best one which has no side effects for them.
Mrs. Taibu entreated residents in the region to access the free family planning services offered them in the region to help address maternal, infant and teenage pregnancies.