Dr Leticia Adelaide Appiah, Executive Director of National Population Council, says sustainable development is quicker when all women are presented with the same opportunity to reproduce based on science and informed decisions.
She said maternal, child mortality and morbidity would reduce when women had access to reproductive health information and services as well as voluntary family planning for purposefully planned reproduction.
“Anti-hypertensive information and services are made available to both the rich and the poor alike in addressing issues of hypertension, why not do the same in reproduction,” she asked.
Dr Appiah made the call at a symposium organised by the Department of Ecumenical and Social Relations of the Ga Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana at Tema.
“Until and unless bold steps are taken to empower all women with knowledge, services and skills, some women would continue to endure involuntary reproduction in huge numbers, curtailing their chances of quality health, nutrition and education, and society bears the brunt thereof,” she said.
Dr Appiah said there was the need to realise that the poor were born into their situation and even the best and hardest of workers could not climb out of poverty without the knowledge of how to do so and without the opportunity to do so.
“How do we offer women the same chance to reproduce based on science and informed choices as we have done with immunization, anti-hypertensive and currently COVID-19 preventive information, knowledge and services,” she noted.
She said when women were empowered with knowledge, services and skills of reproductive and family planning, their children would be healthier, happier, more educated and gainfully employed.
She said a coordinated response should attract national attention, including strong central leadership with a requisite budget and mandate to ensure all relevant sectors were fairly and adequately funded to design, influence and deliver their responses as part of a coordinated effort to effective population management to tackle child marriage and teen pregnancy.