By Roselyn Ganyaglo
Some 300 world experts on Reproductive Health Supplies, under the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition RHSC are meeting in Accra to examine the impact of COVID-19 on funding for reproductive health supplies, drawing lessons from the sector, and celebrating its resilience.
Issues to be discussed include funding for sexual, reproductive, maternal, and menstrual health supplies. Minister of Health Kwaku Agyemang Manu who opened the meeting through a representative said investing in reproductive health goes beyond a policy initiative. It is a deliberate effort towards attaining the SDGs, reflecting the government’s commitment to gender equality, health, and equitable prosperity.
“I wish to spotlight the indispensable role of affordable, top-tier Reproductive Health (RH) products in our quest to fulfill the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)” he intimated Mr. Agyemang Manu noted that accessing reproductive health supplies is a human right and not just a health objective.
It is therefore imperative that government equips citizens with tools to make informed family choices to live healthy lives.
“These collaborations, combined with our sustained commitment, have resulted in significant demographic shifts, notably a marked decline in births per woman, from 6.4 in 1988 to 4.2 in 2014. These strides have had a ripple effect, culminating in a decline in maternal mortality and our dedication to transparency and innovation is evident in our steps to augment reproductive health supply data visibility” he said.
The Director of Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition, Martyn Smith urged countries in the sub-region to prioritize manufacturing of reproductive health supplies locally. He said Ghana is well-positioned to make it a reality if the necessary steps are taken. “We have to have short and medium-term goals in preparedness where disruption happens” he indicated.
The Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition, RHSC is the world’s largest network of reproductive health organizations with nearly 600 member agencies from the public, commercial, and not-for-profit sectors. The RHSC works to ensure that all people are able to access and use affordable and quality reproductive health supplies, including a broad choice of contraceptives.
Ghana was chosen for the conference due to her resilience in the reproductive health supplies sector.
This according to the experts is evident in the launch of a comprehensive Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health and Nutrition Strategic Plan and the inclusion of family planning within its National Health Insurance Scheme.