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'Family planning not an option'- Health experts

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According to the World Health Organisation, “Family planning is a service that allows individuals and couples anticipate and attain their desired number of children and the spacing and timing of their births.

It is achieved through the use of contraceptive methods and the treatment of involuntary infertility.

Services available are long-acting reversible contraception, such as the implant or intra uterine device (IUD), hormonal contraception, such the Pill or the Depo Provera injection. Also available are barrier methods, such as condoms, emergency contraceptive as well as permanent contraception such as vasectomy and Tubal ligation.

Inspite of all these varied services, health experts across the world believe much is not being done to get a lot more patronage from women. This was the reason the 2012 London summit was held to set the FP2020 target which basically aims at enabling some 120 million more women and girls to use contraceptives by 2020.

The world is barely two years away from 2020 and Ghana is still not doing well in getting the desired behavioural change among sexually active women- a situation the Ghana Health service attribute partly to poor attitudes of service providers towards young women or clients of family planning services.

They also think persistent rumours, myths, and misconceptions especially fear of side effects and mal-distribution of family planning services in Ghana are a persistent challenge.

No wonder the last Demographic and Health Survey points to a 30% and 42% unmet need for contraception among married women and sexually active unmarried women respectively.

This means, one-third of married women and almost half of unmarried sexually active women who want to wait for some time before having a child or cease having children, are not on contraceptives.

Health experts meeting in Accra say, family planning is not an option. It should be a way of life if the lives of women are to improve.

This is due to the replica effect it has on improving the lives of children, the family and the country, given the invaluable contribution of women to the nation, if they are able to control their own lives.

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