The Brong Ahafo Regional Long Term Family Planning campaign has been launched on the premises of the regional hospital .
At the launch, Dr Daniel Asare, Medical Director of the hospital, called on women, especially wives, to encourage their husbands to adopt long term and permanent family planning methods to help improve their quality of existence.
Already, majority of women in the region are adopting the various long term family planning methods to bring about spacing in child-bearing, unwanted pregnancies while others are also using the methods to reduce child bearing, which had gone a long way to improve their health status.
Dr Asare however disclosed that for the past five years, no man or husband had come forward in the region to undertake both the long term and the permanent family planning methods at the hospital.
He therefore urged couples, particularly women, to encourage their husbands to go for family planning, especially vasectomy to help reduce their family sizes and also not to put the lives of their wives at risk through too many child- bearing.
The campaign, being undertaken by the Quality Health Partners (QHP) in collaboration with the Regional Hospital, is to sensitise couples to the need to adopt long term family planning to enhance their quality of life for themselves and their children, as well as to reduce their family sizes.
Records from the Reproductive and Child Health Unit of the Regional Health Directorate indicated that in 2005, 1,979 couples in the region undertook various long term family planning methods such as Jadel/Norplant, Intra Uterine Contraceptive Device and Tubal Ligation but none went in for vasectomy while in 2006, the figure reduced to 1,515 for the same methods with none for vasectomy.
In 2007, the number of couples who undertook the various long term methods increased to 2,148. It included one vasectomy.
Dr Asare dispelled the notion held by some couples about vasectomy that when one undertakes it, it would render them impotent forever, saying the method was even the best for men who wanted to enjoy sex but do not want to have children any longer.
He said the regional hospital had also launched a zero tolerance for maternal deaths and therefore encouraged couples to take antenatal clinics seriously to enable the hospital to achieve that feat.
Dr Asare commended the government for introducing free antenatal and maternal care in the country, which he said would go a long way to reduce the mortality rates at birth, but advised couples not to abuse that privilege by giving birth unnecessarily to affect their health status and the quality of life of their families.
In an address read on his behalf, the Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr Ignatius Baffour Awuah, encouraged couples to seriously consider the permanent methods of family planning once they had the number of children they had planned in order to prevent the incidence of “pension babies” and the potential health challenges they posed.
He praised the Sene District Health Service Directorate for performing the only Vasectomy procedure in the region so far, and expressed the hope that more men and women would embrace the long term and permanent methods .
Dr Emmanuel K. Tinkorang, the Regional Deputy Director of Public Health, who launched the campaign bemoaned the high maternal deaths recorded in the region which he attributed to the termination of unwanted pregnancies.
He therefore encouraged all couples to adopt the long term and permanent family planning methods in order to avoid unwanted pregnancies.
Dr Tinkorang also dispelled the misconceptions associated with long term family planning, saying this was just to put fear in the people so that they would not go in for it, and urged people, especially couples, to also seek the proper information on the various family planning methods to help them adopt the one that would suit them.
Madam Victoria Owusu –Kyeremaa, the Regional Director of the Department of Women, who chaired the function, urged both men and women not to abuse the free pregnancy and maternal care policy introduced by the government so as to help reduce maternal deaths in the country.