The national launch of the 2012 World Population Day takes place today at Jubilee Park in Kumasi. This year’s theme is ‘Universal Access to Reproductive Health Services’ and the event is organised by the National Population Council (NPC) with support from UK aid.
In Ghana, up to 35% of married women have an unmet need for family planning, and it is estimated that about 1 in 300 births in Ghana result in the death of the mother. The Honourable Regional Minister, Dr. Kwaku Agyeman-Mensah will be the keynote speaker at the launch, and as a part of the activities to celebrate the day, there will be free reproductive health services including family planning on site.
The launch coincides with the London Summit on Family Planning organised by the UK Government and the Gates Foundation, which will aim to secure global commitment to make family planning services available to an additional 120 million girls and women in the world’s poorest countries by 2020. A high level delegation from the Government of Ghana and representatives from civil society are attending the summit.
Later this year UK aid will start a new programme to strengthen the family planning programme, and last year UK aid provided almost 9m GHC of family planning commodities to the Ghana Health Service. This follows an announcement last month of a partnership with USAID to help the NPC in training and advocacy for family planning.
This is part of UK aid’s broader programme in Ghana which is rising from £80 million (GH¢240 million) in 2011 to £100 million (GH¢300 million) in 2015. The programme has a strong focus on reducing poverty in the North of Ghana, helping women and girls, and improving the quality of education. As well as helping the Government to improve health outcomes, UK Aid is also supporting growth in the private sector and tackling the issues underpinning Ghana’s transition to a middle-income country, as Ghana approaches a time when it no longer needs aid.