Health News of Tuesday, 12 June 2012
The UK Department for International Development (DfID) has announced joint funding for a programme that will improve family planning for thousands of Ghanaians.
The project is led by USAID and will support the National Population Council (NPC) in training and advocacy.
A statement issued by Ms Patience Folley, Communications Officer at the British High Commission in Accra on Tuesday and copied to the Ghana News Agency, said the support was in addition to the family planning services the UK provided for nearly 690,000 Ghanaians last year.
Speaking at the launch, the Head of DfID Ghana, Sally Taylor, said that “Pregnancy and childbirth were inherently risky and that in Ghana, thousands of women and adolescent girls died needlessly every year. Simply meeting the unmet need for family planning alone could prevent around a third of these deaths, she added.
" DFID was pleased to be able to work together with USAID to support the Ghana Government’s commitment to ensure universal access to family planning services”, she said.
She said USAID and DfID have already collaborated to help raise national and international support and funding for the family planning programmes in Ghana, and that by working with the NPC, a tool had been developed to help officials plan for the costs associated with expanding family planning in order to ensure supplies and achieve Ghana’s fertility goals.
The statement said, "This new support will enable development of advocacy materials; train technical and regional staff to use the planning models; involve Ghanaian participants in data collection; and build the capacity of other Ghanaian stakeholders".
It said Ghana was currently off-track for achieving Millennium Development Goal 5 on maternal and reproductive health, and helping the country to progress on this key priority support from the UK Government.
"This is part of DfID’s broader programme in Ghana which is rising from £80 million (or GH¢232 million) in 2011 to £100 million (or GH¢290 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, DfID is also supporting growth in the private sector and tackling the issues underpinning Ghana’s transition to a solid middle-income country, as Ghana moves towards a time when it would no longer need aid.**