The UNFPA is of the view that Ghana has the potential of achieving the goals of the SDGs since they fit well into the country’s long- term plan which will span 2018 to 2057, when Ghana will mark its centenary independence anniversary. It noted, the “SDGs are a useful tool in focusing achievement of specific development gains as part of a broad development vision and framework.”
A National Development Plan is a long-term vision for a country’s growth and development and the strategy and tactics for achieving that vision.
The SDGs are an inter-governmentally agreed set of targets relating to international development. They follow on from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and build on the sustainable development agenda that was finalised by member states during the Rio +20 Summit.
The SDGs contain 17 goals with 169 targets, covering a broad range of sustainable development issues. These included ending poverty and hunger, improving health and education, making cities more sustainable, combating climate change, and protecting oceans and forests.
Speaking at a day’s training workshop organised by the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) in Accra on Thursday, Ms Dennia Gayle, Deputy Representative of UNFPA, said the SDGs were good for national priority-setting and accordingly called on the government to situate Reproductive Health and Maternal and Newborn Care (RHMNC) as a broad development issue within the context of the Demographic Dividend and the country’s long-term development planning agenda. Ms noted, “This is beyond health, this is about development and economic prosperity- setting.”
The Deputy Representative cited indicator 3.7 which stipulates, “By 2030, ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services, including for family planning, information and education, and the integration of reproductive health into national strategies and programmes,” which needed to be domesticated. She believed such an action would ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all levels.
On the current state of affairs in Ghana, Ms Gayle indicated that the country’s maternal mortality ratio stands at 380 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, while unsafe abortions accounted for close to 65 percent of maternal deaths.
She further revealed that over 85% of currently procured contraceptives in Ghana were from three major donors including UNFPA, USAID and DFID, and, more recently, WAHO.
In an address, the Executive Director of MFWA, Mr Sulemana Braimah, said the workshop sought to raise awareness and to deepen the national conversation on the SDGs.
It was also purposed to offer the platform for the media and other participants to learn about the SDG processes so far, the country’s priorities and how the media could contribute effectively towards achieving the SDGs in Ghana.
Mr Braimah said it was crucial that Ghana as a country prioritises the SDGs given that countries could set their own priorities within the broader development goals.
Source : Public Agenda