Senior lecturer at the University of Ghana Regional Institute for Population Studies (RIPS), Dr. Adriana Biney has urged the government to give more focus to family planning in urban areas in order to improve the health of people in these areas.
She was speaking on the second day of a two-day policy communication and engagement meeting on Urban Development and Reproductive Health Concerns held at the Tomriek hotel on Thursday, March 16th, 2023.
The engagement was aimed at sharing findings from a qualitative study titled “Exploring Use, Non-use and Discontinuation of Modern Contraception among Urban Youth in Accra, Ghana”, carried out in some parts of Accra by the University of Ghana Regional Institute for Population Studies. The study sought to investigate the relationship between reproductive health and urban development.
According to Dr. Biney, the study was aimed at finding facts on the linkage of family planning and urban population and development to ensure urban developmental policies include family planning. She emphasized on the need for government to create programs and policies geared towards family planning in urban areas to improve the health of people living in urban areas.
“So that’s the main goal, to understand how we can have an intersection between family planning which manages the urban population and development. So that’s the goal of this study, just to get in facts into how they are linked and how we can ensure that our policies are including family planning and family planning becomes important to urban development. In urban settings, there’s resistance to modern contraception so that’s one thing but we are not saying that we are failing to do something as much as we consider urban family planning as a component of urban health. If you want to improve the health of people in urban areas then family planning should be the focus. The government needs to appreciate this link and create programs that emphasize it in the urban areas.”
Speaking to UniverNews, Chief Director of the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, Dr. Evans Aggrey-Darkoh believed that the research will have policy relevance which will help shape some of the policies and programs in the country. According to him, the research would also help strengthen the utility of universities in the country.
“We are growing with a growing population, urbanization is on and has its advantages and the several disadvantages it comes with, we can talk about the emergence of the slums among others, the urban poor that you need to contend with but in all of these we are also looking at the sexual reproductive health of the people who live in some of their critical areas which we need to be interested in. If you are unable to take care of these things, likely, we will not be able to root the deviate associated with urbanization and for me, that is why I find the presentation interesting because what RIPS is doing is literally like the gown going to town and also ensuring that the research that has been undertaken will have policy relevance and they will shape some of the policies and programs [in] the state. For me, that will strengthen the utility of universities within the state.”