Coalition of NGOs in health call for increase in funding

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Ho, June 18, GNA-The coalition of Non-Governmental Organisations in Health has called for increase in funding regimes to facilitate their mandate towards service delivery to the people.

     They lamented that often, funding outlays were truncated along the lifeline of projects, which prevented them from realising targeted goals to complement the efforts of the Ghana Health Service and government.

     These concerns were raised at the 2019 Second Quarter Government of Ghana/United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Seventh Country Programme (CP7) stakeholders meeting for the Volta/Oti regions in Ho.

     Mr Kofi Nyalimba, Regional Secretary of the Coalition said the phenomenon was an affront and a drawback for the realization or attainment of the SDGs and called for increased and continuous funding.

     He identified low patronage of adolescent and youth educational programmes, poor reporting on adolescent reproductive health activities as well as limited number of experts working in youth friendly programmes and service delivery.

    Mr Charles Duodu, Public Health Officer, Volta Regional Health Directorate said teenage pregnancy was on the ascendancy in the two regions with Akatsi North, Agotime and Krachi West Districts being ranked highest with Ho Municipal and Afadjato district recording lower figures.

     He said the region recorded 15.2 per cent, 14 per cent and 14 per cent teenage pregnancy for the 2016, 2017 and 2018 periods respectively.

     Mr Duodu added that adolescent family planning acceptor rates were 16.5 per cent, 15.3 per cent and 17 per cent for the same period under review.

     He enumerated key achievements as reduction in the percentages of still births rates, neonatal mortality, under five mortality rates and maternal mortality rates with male involvement in reproductive health issues improving tremendously.

    Mr Duodu identified high cost of service delivery in the overbank communities, bad roads, lax in communication connectivity as prevailing challenges thwarting efforts for carrying service to the people.

     He appealed to the National Communication Authority, the Volta Regional Coordinating Council (VRCC) and Municipal District Assemblies to fix the communication problems and the roads to improve health delivery.

    Ms Victoria Fato, Ghana Health Service/UNFPA Focal Person at the VRCC said the goal of the partnership was to create a universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights.

     She disclosed that their objective was to end preventable maternal deaths, end un-met need for family planning, end gender-based violence and harmful practices including child marriage and female genital mutilation.

    The Focal Person said some success stories were recorded with more women benefiting from family planning commodities such as the implant insertion, family planning counselling methods to address women’s problems.

    She said about 17,000 young people including 12,000 adolescent girls were beneficiaries from South Dayi, Afadjato, Akatsi North and South, North Dayi, Krachi West and Central Tongu districts.

    Ms Fato said advocacy and sensitisation on child marriage in young women was changing the narrative for good.

     Dr Robert Mensah, representative of UNFPA said the transformative goal of UNFPA resided in a zero preventable maternal deaths, zero un-met need for family planning and zeroing in on gender-based violence and harmful practices.

    He said for them, every pregnancy was wanted and children should be safe, wherever they found themselves adding that un-met family planning need is 30 per cent with teenage pregnancy rates rising to 14 per cent in the country.

     Dr Mensah said maternal mortality rates had cascaded from a high of 740/100,000 live births to 310/100,000 live births currently with the requirements under the SDG pegged at 75/100,000 live births.

     He announced that UNFPA would mark its golden anniversary this year, again the 25th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), as well as the 95th anniversary of Professor Torgbor Sai, a Ghanaian Development luminary.

     Dr Archibald Yao Letsa, Volta Regional Minister looked forward for the implementation of CP7 for the benefit of the people in Volta and Oti regions and urged actors in the sector to collaborate for the success of the project.

     There were interventions from UNICEF and the German Cooperation Development Agency (GIZ).

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