Health authorities in Kumasi say they are making little progress in efforts to use family planning as one of the measures to eliminate maternal mortality. Metropolitan Director of Health Services, Dr. Akwasi Yeboah-Awudzi, says many women are refusing to embrace controlled birth despite continued education.
Officials estimate planned families could reduce birth-related deaths by up to 20 per cent. While statistics indicate only 20 out of every 100 sexually-active women in Ghana are ready to give birth, much less the number seek family planning services. Dr. Yeboah-Awudzi says only 14 per cent of female adults in the Ashanti Region are on one method or the other.
“Family planning is a very important tool…It means that if we promote Family planning, it will really help us”.
At the inauguration of a community clinic at Anloga in Kumasi, he hinted of a planned sensitization program targeted at men to reverse the trend.
“In Kumasi family planning acceptance prevalence rate is very, very low. Some few women who are educated on family planning will like to do it but their husbands don’t know”, he explained.
Kumasi Metropolitan area recorded 38 maternal deaths in the first quarter of 2012, up from 18 for the same period in 2011, making it the highest in the country. Dr. Yeboah-Awudzi also spoke of other measures to arrest the issue of increasing maternal deaths within the Kumasi metropolis.
These measures include improving auxiliary and other health facilities such as the Manhyia and Tafo Polyclinics as well as Kumasi South and Suntreso Hospitals to sustain the pressure on Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital. Pregnant women are also being sensitized to attend antenatal care regularly, among others.