The Asante-Mampong Municipal Health Director, Madam Rebecca Dokorugu, has called on women to take advantage of safe family planning methods, to avoid unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortions and preventable deaths.

She regretted that in spite of the numerous government interventions to safeguard their reproductive health, women are still dying from unsafe abortions, due to ignorance and non patronage of available family planning methods.

Quoting figures to buttress this, she said the municipality recorded a total of 136 abortions in 2009, with 53 of them being criminal, resulting in three deaths.

She said, down from the previous year’s figure, the first half of 2010, recorded 52 abortions, and out of this number, 13 were criminal, out of which one person died.

Madam Dokurugu, who was speaking at a ceremony to mark this year’s family planning week on Wednesday at Asante-Mampong, said family planning must be embraced by all, especially couples, to help them plan well for the births of their children, to reduce the stress of having to take care of too many children.

The programme was also characterised by a street float by some Health Personnel and some members of the public at Asante-Mampong.

They carried placards with inscriptions such as “family Planning reduces children’s death, plan your family, plan your future, less stress reduces maternal deaths, family planning prevents unwanted abortions. ”

The theme was “Strengthening family Planning to Reduce Maternal Deaths.”

The programme was sponsored by the Ghana Health Service with support from Engender Health International, a Non Governmental Organisation (NGO), which provides family planning support and services, and it was aimed at creating awareness for the youth and couples to practice family planning to prevent unwanted pregnancies.

Madam Dokurugu mentioned some of the family Planning methods as foaming tablets, male and female condoms, the injectables, the implants, female tubal ligation and the male vasectomy.

“Family planning is to assist individuals and couples achieve their reproductive goals and improve their general reproductive health to plan for the future”, she added

The Medical Superintendent of the Mampong Government Hospital, Doctor Emmanuel Ahiable, advised women to desist from engaging in self- induced abortions, which he said could easily kill them.

He said safe abortion services can now be provided at Hospitals, such as the Kumasi south Hospital, Suntreso Hospital and the Maternal and Child Health Hospital (MCHH), at a reasonable cost, after counselling.

He also called on men to undertake the vasectomy (“male sterilisation), which is safe.

Source: GNA