Professor Charles Amoatey, the Director, Academy of Leadership and Executive Training, Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), said with proper sexual and reproductive health awareness, people will have a satisfying and safe sexual life.
“They will have the capability to reproduce and the freedom to decide if, when, and how often to do so, to improve their well-being ” he said.
Prof Amoatey said this at the closing ceremony a four-day training in Koforidua for political and social actors on the importance of sexual and reproductive health to national development.
It was organised by GIMPA, in collaboration with the Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana, to achieve broad-based improvements in good sexual and reproductive health (SRH) among women and adolescents.
This would ensure they contribute more effectively to national development.
Participants included members of parliament, traditional and religious leaders, and leaders of educational institutions.
Prof Amoatey said lawmakers could influence and prioritise sexual and reproductive health issues in Parliament, while influential community members engaged women and adolescents on the importance of SRH to development.
“Lack of access to sexual and reproductive health undermined individual control over decisions concerning education, health, and participation in social and economic life,” he noted.
“We, the collaborating partners, hope to organise similar training for other groups on a quarterly basis across the country to widely spread information on the impact of sexual and reproductive health on national development.”
Mr Caesar Kaba Kogoziga, the Programmes Coordinator at Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana, said: “Just as we preach Ghana beyond aid, there’s the need to also preach or advocate families and societies beyond aid.”
He noted that if SRH needs and rights were not met and individuals were denied the right to make choices about their own bodies and future, it would have negative impacts on their families’ welfare, future generations, and the entire nation.
Dr Leticia Appiah, the Executive Director, National Population Council, and a facilitator, led participants through topics including Ghana’s population history, development growth and impact, and understanding the global perspective of reproductive health.
“We are situating reproductive health education and services as part of our economic intervention because if we do not situate it well, and there is a lot of expenditure, then we cannot reap the benefit of our investment,” she said.
Dr Appiah indicated that family planning and contraception were among the measures put in place to help women look healthy, space their births, and limit unplanned pregnancies.
Madam Betty Krosbi Mensah, Member of Parliament for Affram Plains North, described the course content as solid and participatory.
“Gathering people with different points of view and understanding gives us [MPs] a clear direction as to where we are going, where we have fallen short, the benefits of certain programmes that Parliament is implementing, and possibly, how we can finetune some of them to the benefit of the public.”
Adindaa Awamyelum II, Chief of Kodorogo, Bongo District in the Upper East Region, said education on SRH would help minimise child marriage and teenage pregnancies, and encourage girls to stay in school, finish their education, and contribute to more gender-equal societies.
Certificates of participation were presented to participants.
The Leadership and Executive Training programmes are designed to enhance skills in leadership, build a solid foundation in management, sharpen technical skills and competencies, and connect participants to a global network of peers.