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Health News of Friday, 3 June 2011

Source: GNA

Government urged to include family planning in NHIS

Kumasi, June 3, GNA - An appeal has been made to the government to include family planning services in the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

Mr John Kwadwo Owusu, the Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Association of Ghana (EPAG), an NGO, said family planning was as important as 93immunization" and must therefore be offered free through the Ghana Health Service (GHS) and accredited health facilities. He was addressing a day's stakeholders' meeting on population and environment in Kumasi.

Organized jointly by the EPAG and Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG), it brought together 50 participants to sensitize them on the dangers associated with population explosion. Mr Owusu said it was time the government increased its budgetary suppor= t for reproductive health services.

Statistics show that the country's development partners during the period 2003-2009 contributed 83.3 per cent of the funds for family planning as against 16.8 per cent by the government.

This, he said, was not good enough and needed to change. Mr Kwadwo Peprah, acting Ashanti Regional Population Officer, said family planning remained one of the essential instruments used to obtain specific demographic targets and socio-economic growth. It should therefore be re-positioned in the population growth control to ensure sustainable development. Mrs Dorothy Gyinae, a Deputy Director of Nursing Services at the Manhyia District Hospital, urged couples to accept family planning methods since this was in their own interest and security.