The Ashanti Regional Health Directorate has scaled up the effort to increase family planning (FP) acceptance to roll back growing abortion cases among adolescents.

Dr. Kwesi Yeboah Awudzi, the Deputy Ashanti Regional Health Director, said this was being done together with the National Population Council, Marie Stopes and Ipas-Ghana.

Addressing a press conference in Kumasi, he said 18 health facilities had now been designated to provide FP services.
These include the Kumasi Children’s Hospital, Abuakwa Health Centre, Konongo and Nyinahin Government Hospitals, Afrancho, Mamponteng and Fumso Health Centres.

People could now pay as low as GH?1.00 to access any of the FP methods – contraceptives.

Dr. Awudzi expressed worry about the high rate of termination of unwanted pregnancies, particularly among adolescents, and said, that was unhelpful to the fight to prevent maternal deaths.

They constituted 44 per cent of the total of 3,951 officially reported cases in the region, last year.

Out of the year 2014 figure of 3,550, they formed 39 per cent.

Dr. Awudzi described the situation as disturbing, considering the fact that abortion was one of the major causes of maternal deaths.

He encouraged young people to abstain from pre-marital sex, telling, those who were unable to control their strong sexual desires to use contraceptives to avoid getting pregnant, when they were not ready for a baby.
He reminded them that FP methods were far cheaper than abortion.

Madam Rita Anafo, the Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer, complained about the low acceptance of FP in the region and said that needed to radically change.

She put the coverage at just 22 per cent and asked that more was done to expand the coverage.