Ashanti Regional NPC Director- Mrs.Mercy Adomaa Besseah
The Ashanti Regional Director of Ghana National Population Council (NPC) Mrs. Mercy Adomaa Besseah has said women and girls must be supported with quality access to information, services and the means by which they can exercise their voluntary choices.
She said Women and girls must have the right to make choices freely in marriage, family formation as well as determining the number, timing and spacing of their children.
For such rights to be exercised and enjoyed fully, they must be supported with “quality access to information, services and the means by which they can exercise their voluntary choices”.
She added that voluntary choices save lives and reduce ill-health.
Speaking with Newstimegh.com on World Population Day Celebration, today July 11,2020 dubbed: ‘safeguarding the health and rights of women and girls around the world especially during the time of covid-19 pandemic”, the director stated that safeguarding the sexual and reproductive health of many women and girls is key to ensuring that they are equal and free to make decisions in all domains of life devoid of discrimination, violence or coercion. It is on this premise that women and girls, in particular, are reliant if they are to enjoy a life of choices, empowerment and equality. It also helps them make informed choices regarding their own sexuality and reproductive lifestyle.
World Health Organisation WHO recommended standards, stipulates that if all pregnant women and their new-borns were to receive care, if all women who want to avoid unplanned pregnancies had access to modern contraceptives, the life-saving benefits would be significant. Maternal deaths would drop by 67 percent, new-born deaths by 77percent, and unintended pregnancies by 70 percent. Women and new-borns’ burden of disability related to pregnancy and childbirth would also drop by 66percent. Transmission of HIV from mothers to new-borns would be nearly eliminated at 93percent reduction.
The Ashanti Regional NPC Director believes that dependency ratio will reduce, the economy will accelerate faster than expected and aids in achieving demographic dividend would be sustainable when human rights (women and girls) in sexual and reproductive health are sustained, the overall health budgets are reduced, productivity stimulated and standards of human lives are enhanced.
Pandemic Covid -19
Elaborating on the effects of Covid -19 on NPC, she revealed that the plague is threatening to wreck several efforts made to attain zero maternal deaths, unmet need for family planning, sexual and gender based violence and other harmful practices which hinders on our progress of meeting the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) agenda of 2030 and the national blueprint of Ghana beyond Aid agenda.
As a result, NPC is calling on all Ghanaians as matter of urgency to make it a point to protect and uphold the health and rights of women and girls especially during this Covid-19 pandemic for “we are committed to ensuring that every Ghanaian enjoys a better quality life”.