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National Population Council reiterates commitment to improving family planning methods

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The Upper West Regional Population Council has restated its commitment towards improving the uptake of contraceptives and family planning methods for sexually active persons in the Upper West Region. The Council is also improving its strategies to encourage girls to stay in school longer than they currently do.

Speaking at a Regional Population Advisory Committee (RPAC) meeting, the Regional Population Officer, Salifu Abu said these strategies have become necessary because of the rapid population growth in the region. He said it is essential that population growth is matched with social development.

The National Population Council (NPC) is to effectively coordinate and advise government on population-related policy implementation. NPC is also to undertake advocacy, research and capacity building workshops in partnership with other agencies.

To undertake all these activities, the Upper West Regional Population Council together with its partners has resuscitated the Regional Population Advisory Committee which had been dormant for close a to decade. The Upper West Regional Population Officer shared some targets that the RPAC will be working towards.

“The National Population policy of 2017 gave a lot of targets that we have to meet in order to get the development that we need. The National Policy stipulates that we should as much as possible reduce the National Fertility Rate from 4.2 percent per woman to 3.5; and further work towards reducing this to 3 by 2034”.

“We are thinking about increasing our contraceptive prevalence rate for women who are currently married because they constitute the bulk of fertility. The target is that from 2014, it was only 22 percent of our married women who were using modern contraceptives which is woefully inadequate. We want family planning to be generally available, accessible and affordable to at least 50 percent of our women who are sexually active,” he explained.

The Upper West Regional Minister, who doubles as the Chairman of RPAC, Dr Hafiz Bin Salih said there is the need for measures to be put in place to contain the population increase.

The Upper West Regional Statistician, who doubles as a member of the RPAC, Sixtus Dery said the work of the Committee is very important therefore the lack of funds should not be used as an excuse not to hold quarterly meetings.

Story filed by Mark Smith.

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