Ms. Florence Hagan, Regional Population Officer for Greater Accra, urged the government to prioritize reproductive health rights and choices in order to control population growth in the country.
She said tackling reproductive health issues such as family planning, early marriage and childbirth, and teenage pregnancy would help achieve Sustainable Development Goal 3.
Ms. Hagan said population growth, particularly in the Greater Accra region, had put severe pressure on limited resources and infrastructure, which called for urgent action.
She said so in Accra during a press briefing to commemorate this year’s World Population Day (WPD) under the national theme: “Put rights and choices first; harnessing opportunities, the path to a resilient future for all.
The global theme of this year’s WPD: “A World of Eight Billion: Towards a Resilient Future for All, Harnessing Opportunities and Securing Rights and Choices”, seeks to draw attention to the growing global population that is expected to reach around eight billion by the end of this year.
The world event is commemorated on July 11.
The 2021 population census revealed that the population of Greater Accra increased from 4,010,054 in 2010 to 5,455,692 in 202.
This figure makes Accra the most populous in Ghana, surpassing the Ashanti region since 1970.
The Greater Accra region, she said, was becoming overcrowded due to the high level of immigration from other regions and immigration from neighboring countries, which needed urgent attention.
The 2014 Demographic and Health Survey shows that the total fertility rate is 2.8 children per woman in the country.
Ms Hagan said the fertility rate attested to the fact that the region’s youth age structure was largely the result of migration and urbanization.
“We need to be concerned about Ghana’s youthful population as they represent the economic workforce that drives the economy,” she said.
She said Ghana, to achieve a demographic dividend, required the country to understand the size and distribution of its population, its current and projected age structure and the rate of population growth.
The situation, she pointed out, means that national needs must be matched by a sequence of short, medium and long-term investments that guarantee the rights of all citizens to access development sectors.
She called on relevant authorities to add their voices to promote policies, programs and laws to end child marriage, reduce teenage pregnancies and support evidence-based and people-focused investments. girls to educate them about their health rights.
Dr. Farida Njelba Abdulai, Acting Deputy Director of Greater Accra, Public Health, Ghana Health Service, said with the world’s population reaching eight billion, there was a need to prioritize the number of children to be had for proper care.
“As a health service, we work to ensure that family planning services are safe, acceptable, affordable, effective, and geographically accessible to everyone,” she said.
To improve financial access, she said the National Health Insurance Authority has this year approved the use of the Authority’s card to access family planning services in order to increase the use of these services. .
Some of the participants urged the leaders of the National Population Council to liaise with religious leaders to educate the public on reproductive issues, especially family planning.