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Reaching Out to Inhabitants of Mankyi with Family Planning Information and Services

Located in the Mayera sub-district in the Ga West Municipality of the Greater Accra Region with a population of about 1000, the inhabitants of Mankyi face several societal challenges including teenage pregnancy. This according to Samuel Afedo, the Assemblyman of Mankyi, is worrying and leading to the increase in school dropouts among adolescent girls.

In the bid to address this challenge and bring to zero the unmet need for Family Planning (FP) in the farming community of Mankyi, Ghana Health Service in collaboration with UNFPA Ghana and volunteers of Willows International embarked on a door-to door outreach providing FP information. The outreach, which was part of activities to mark this year’s FP week saw 14 teams of young people move to every nook and cranny of Mankyi to demystify the myths and misconceptions surrounding FP in order to encourage the uptake of FP services.

 After the outreach, there was a brief community gathering to throw more light on the various FP methods and their usage. Jemima Marfo, a public health nurse for the Mayera sub-district educated the audience on the importance of FP. She stated that FP improves the health of women since it affords women the opportunity to space and plan the number of children they want to have. Nurses were also present at the community gathering to provide FP services to females who voluntarily expressed interest.

Speaking at the sidelines of the community gathering, Mrs. Jemima Marfo stated that low patronage of FP services among women of Mankyi is due to myths and misconceptions about FP. “…they have already heard myths so when they take a family planning method and something happens to them, they attribute it to the family planning method. That is a barrier”, Mrs. Marfo explained. According to her, the high rate of teenage pregnancy can be reduced with intensive sexual and reproductive health education among the adolescents. A skit was also staged to paint a picture of the importance of FP and how sexually active adolescents can use the various FP methods to avoid unwanted pregnancies.

UNFPA continues to work to ensure that the promise made 25 years ago, at the landmark 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo, Egypt, with further commitment at the post Kenya in 2019, that every woman and girl would enjoy universal access to sexual and reproductive health would be realized.