Dr Leticia Adelaide Appiah, Executive Director, National Population Council, says Ghana in 2021 recorded 1,053,400 births and 288, 378 deaths.
This means every year, the country on the average records more than 700, 000 births.
Dr Appiah said this at a meet-the-press event in Accra on the forthcoming World Population Day on July 11, 2022.
The Executive Director said that the United Nations World Population Prospects recorded 139, 821, 086 births and 60, 119,439 deaths globally in 2021.
She stated that Europe had 4,047, 432 births and recorded 5, 186, 787 deaths, whereas Africa had 49, 034, 104 births and 13, 378, 591 deaths.
“Whereas, Europe is contributing to slow down the population growth down to a sustainable level, Africa is contributing to its accelerated growth also in unsustainable fashion,” she noted.
Dr Appiah said Africa and Ghana’s high population growth was in part caused by high rates of teenage pregnancy, child marriage and unmet need for family planning with its associated social and economic costs.
She called on leaders to prioritise reproductive health rights and choices of all, especially girls and women, to reduce population growth rate to sustainable levels.
Dr Appiah said: “Prioritising rights and choices mean providing all with adequate sexual reproductive health information and services to facilitate informed decision making in their fertility choices for their own good as well as the wellbeing of others.”
“This will not only slow Africa and Ghana’s population growth rate down significantly, but also bridge the inequality and inequity gaps in health, education, employment between genders, which are necessary conditions for sustainable development.”
She said child marriage, teenage pregnancy and unmet need for family planning put strain on family and national income, while, increasing family and national expenditure mainly on consumption to the disadvantage of production.
Dr Appiah called for a concerted effort from all stakeholders to reduce or eliminate child marriage, teenage pregnancy and unmet family planning.
She said the reproductive health policy should be treated as an economic and security policy to ensure sustainable development of the country.
Mr Barnabas Yisa, United Nations Population Fund Ghana Resident Representative, called for the public to be well informed and educated on the need for sustainable population.
He said a country having a sustainable population would improve the quality of lives of its people as well as improve access to education, health and social services.
World Population Day is an annual event observed on July 11 every year, which seeks to raise awareness of global population issues.
The Day aims at increasing people’s awareness on various population issues, such as the importance of family planning, gender equality, poverty, maternal health and human rights.