53% of all pregnancies in Ghana are unwanted

A recent Guttmacher report published in April 2020 shows that more than half (53%) of all pregnancies in Ghana are unintended and about 71% of all abortions are illegal.
According to the report, northern zone recorded 23%, coastal zone recorded 51% while the middle zone recorded 66%. An estimated 23% of all pregnancies in Ghana in 2017 ended in abortion.
Again, the Ghana Statistical Service 2017 Maternal Health Survey shows that 32% of all 19 years olds are already mothers and evidence from the Ministry of Education’s Education Management Information System further confirms this unfortunate fate; 6,607 pregnancies from upper primary – SHS in the 2017/2018 academic year alone and this increased to about 7,293 pregnancies in the 2018/2019 academic year. Recent reports from the central region gender office stated about 4,100 teenage pregnancies were recorded from January to May alone; and while this is celebrated as a reduction of 500 pregnancies from last year, a report of over 4,000 adolescent pregnancies in one region alone should make any development-oriented person shiver.
Disclosing these figures at the pre-launch of the this year’s World Population Day in Accra, Patricia Antwi-Boasiako, Deputy Director – Operations and Advocacy at Marie Stopes Ghana, said, during the covid-19 lockdown in April 2020 her institution projected that 26,000 women and girls in Ghana could lose access to contraception due to significant reductions in service provision for three months (April – June) at Marie Stopes Ghana clinics, outreach areas, and private bluestar clinics due to covid-19. “This reduction in access to services, we foresee, could be as high as 58,000 women and girls if Covid-19 persist till December 2020” said Antwi-Boasiako.
“That is why for us as Marie Stopes Ghana, this year’s World Population Day theme, “Putting the brakes on COVID-19: how to safeguard the health and rights of women and girls now, couldn’t be more appropriate”, she noted. She was of the view that safeguarding the health of women and girls, really translates to safeguarding the future and the economy; “when families, women and girls are adequately empowered and supported to plan their lives and decide when and how to have children, they are able to achieve their academic and career aspirations and thus contribute meaningfully to the economy”.
“Our ability to achieve the SDGs in 10years, to safeguard the future of our girls and ensure our development gains are indeed progressive and sustainable, depends largely on the investments we make today as a country”, she stated.
Dr. Leticia Adelaide Appiah- the Executive Director of National Population Council (NPC), on her part observed that, globally, the pandemic is threatening to derail many efforts including efforts to achieve zero maternal deaths, zero unmet needs for family planning and zero sexual and gender based violence and harmful practices targets which are necessary in meeting SDG goals and in the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda.
She stressed that the NPC and its partners are committed to safe guarding the hard-fought gains and ensuring that sexual reproductive health rights and service stays on the local agenda to enlist societal and political wills in maintaining the momentum towards achieving the SDGs by 2030.
Dr. Appiah argued that investing in reproductive health would contribute to healthier individuals, healthier families, which would contribute to stronger and wealthier nations. She stressed that investments in reproductive health safeguards the lives of women and children, improves family and community wellbeing and boost economic gains; and yet as a country, we are far from achieving the benefits of reproductive health.
She added that the pandemic has presented the world a chance to address the imbalance to build strong and resilient health system and equitable development of all including women and girls. “Healthy and empowered women can bring about the change needed to create as sustainable future for all,” she noted.
The World Population Day is an annual event, observed on July 11 every year, which seeks to raise awareness of global population issues. The concept was established by Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme in 1989. WPD is celebrated in Ghana by National Population Council with support from the United Nations Population Fund and other development partners.
World Population Day aims to increase people’s awareness on various population issues such as the importance of family planning, gender equality, poverty, maternal health and human rights.

By Kofi Ahovi

Census 2020: Everyone Counts, Get Counted

Ghana’s population continue to increase by more than 700,000 people each year, with most of the growth occurring in urban areas of Accra, Kumasi and Sekondi-Takoradi. According to the National Population Council (NPC, RAPID 2015) Ghana’s population is estimated to be 45.8 and 50.2 million by 2040 and 2050 respectively should the current growth rate remain unchanged. Continued population growth has strong implications for quality of life, socio-economic growth and sustainability. This clearly points to the fact that investment and resources including education, housing, road network, energy, health, water and sanitation facilities will have to be provided to match up with the increasing numbers. It is important to understand and appreciate that planning precedes development and one sure way of actualizing this is through census.

Population and Housing Census defined
Population and housing census is one of the most expensive and complex exercises to be undertaken by any nation. It requires some amount of detailed cartographic work, recruiting and training huge number of enumerators, putting in place strong publicity machinery, compiling huge amounts of data on paper and or in electronic format, analyzing and disseminating same to end users. This year’s population and housing census (PHC) will be the sixth post-independence to be conducted in Ghana.

Population and housing censuses are done decennial (every ten years) by countries consistent with United Nations recommendations. By definition, population and housing census is the enumeration of the total population of a country, which provides data on the number of people, spatial distribution, age and sex structure, living conditions and other key socioeconomic characteristics. Data on disability, migration and information communication technology will also be collected, analyzed and disseminated. Such data are critical to development planning, tracks population dynamics, spatial and social inequalities in development and allocation of infrastructure at multi-level as well as for electoral and boundary planning. From its simplistic approach population and housing census provides primary data source on size and spatial distribution of the population, housing conditions and related characteristics.

Uniqueness of the 2020 census
The uniqueness of the 2020 population and housing census lies in its capacity and capability to switch from paper-centric to techno-centric approach. An innovative approach to generating population and housing data remains the best option at least for now. A computer assisted personal information (CAPI) device will be used. A technique that integrates geographical information satellite images, remote sensing and survey data at point of service (POS) and point of delivery (POD). The use of CAPI has proven not only to be user friendly even to the technophobic but also robust, stable and practical in operational context. This new approach will enable us generate, analyze, disseminate and publish high quality, relevant and disaggregated geo-referenced census data timely for use.

A key challenge likely to compromise the outcome and coverage of any census is inaccessibility. However, in the case of Ghana this has been overcome through the use of GPS and a further development of cartographic maps to guide enumerators. It is important to know that the use of CAPI per say will not replace the comprehensive data set alternatively generated through traditional means

The upcoming population and housing census calls for greater attention and involvement across sectors as a successful exercise will make available quality geo-referencing data and knowledge on demand for decision-making and to guide development. This explains why the 2020 population and housing census is of much importance to all, for everyone counts get counted.

My Details:
NAME: Frank Ofosu-Asante
ORGANISATION: National Population Council – W/R
POSITION: Regional Director
E-MAIL: ofosuasante32@yahoo.com

Show interest in the work of Population Council—Muslim leaders to govt.

The Executive Director of the Muslim Family Council Services (MFCS), Chief Alhaji Imoro Baaba, has urged government to show more interest in the work of the National Population Council (NPC) as it is a vital arm of government that acts as a springboard for government developmental agenda.

According to him, without the full functioning of the NPC, it will be difficult for the various institutions and commissions set up by the government to achieve any impactful results. 

Chief Alhaji Imoro Baaba made the remarks when he paid a courtesy call on the Executive Director of the NPC, Dr Leticia Adelaide Appiah last Wednesday, February 6, 2019 in Accra.

He was accompanied by accompanied by Alhaji Issifu Fuseini and Hajia Adiza Baaba Issa, Deputy Director of the Muslim Family Council Services. 

Chief Alhaji Imoro Baaba said a lot of people do not understand the work of the council hence the very little prominence it receives, urging government to provide increased support to the NPC if it desires to see meaningful development. 

He also called on the United Nations Population Fund, formerly the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA), Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG) and other international donors to continue to beef-up support for the population council to do their advocacy work to affect lives positively.

“The establishment of the National population Council dates as far back to the Busia regime which saw population, family planning as the way to go if visible developments is something to go by,” he opined. 

Chief Alhaji Imoro Baaba also blamed teenage pregnancy and all the increasing social ills in society to the country’s inability to address population, family planning and related issues.

He has, therefore, requested the NPC to adopt strategic lobbying skills to get the desired prominence it requires to help achieve its mandate in making government efforts in developing Ghana visible. 

He was of the view that there is the need for partnership to better position family planning strategically for national development, educate its people and provide requisite information for their follower and provide better understanding regarding the integral nature of NPC’s work in national Development. 

The Executive Director of the National Population Council, Dr Leticia Adelaide Appiah who was happy to receive the group commended their efforts and supports. 

“Family planning is the way to go,” she said, adding that it is like a missionary work, hence all must join hands in achieving a mandate of providing an improved and sustained quality of life for all Ghanaians. 

“We are ready to join you and won’t also mind if you join us to do the needful for the country we all love and want to see develop,” she noted.

Council of State pledges support for National Population Council

The members of the Council of State have pledged their support for the National Population Council (NPC) to carry out its mandate of advising government on population and its related issues.

According to the council, issues bothering on population cannot be taken out of the equation of development.

The Chairman of the Council, Nana Otuo Siriboe II, said there is an urgent need to prioritise population management in the development planning of the country as it has a direct bearing on the country’s resource use and distribution.

Nana Otuo Siriboe made the remarks when the Executive Director of the NPC, Dr Leticia Adelaide Appiah gave a presentation on Ghana’s population structure at the State House in Accra.

“I’m scared looking at the population structure of Ghana…that in fact, we are sitting on a time bomb,” the Council of State Chairman said, adding that “We haven’t taken care of these things and our population is ballooning.”

He said no matter the amount of effort government put in place to develop the country, once the population is not factored in, such efforts would not yield any result.

“In our time, the secondary schools with high population was not up to 700 people but today, Opoku Ware Senior High School has more than 2000 students,” he said.

Speaking on the topic: “Population dynamics in socio-economic development”, Dr Appiah, said “It is very difficult to develop if you ignore population” pointing out that although “reproduction is an individual choice, it has communal implications.”

She described Ghana’s population as a youthful one, noting that such a population structure has implications on the country’s expenditure.

 

According to Dr Appiah, youthful population is characterized by high poverty rate, high dependency ratio, high expenditure on government to contain diseases and not to improve healthcare, fewer people paying taxes, and poor quality of education and lack of employment opportunities.

She explained that population and development are inter-related, explaining that in order to improve the quality of development planning, it is important to promote awareness among planners and policy makers on the need to adapt population policies consistent with development objectives.

According to her, it is important that stakeholders realise that high risk births, unwanted childbearing and rapid population growth as a demographic path is a major obstacle to our development.

Dr Appiah has therefore called for family planning services as part of measures to manage the country’s population, saying “family planning programmes have proven to bring about health and socio-economic benefits by encouraging smaller, healthier, more educated and skilled families.”

“We therefore need to invest in family planning to reduce high risk pregnancies which translate into reduction in medical, economic and social expenses,” she noted.

She explained that reducing high risk pregnancies sets the stage for adequate investment in nutrition, health, education and skill needed for human capital accumulation.

Dr Appiah further explained that investing in family planning “reduces the high youth dependency ratio and increases investment per child and ultimately improves the economic prospects of households and the nation.”

She was of the opinion that one way of making family planning easily accessible to people of reproductive age was to make contraceptives “easily accessible to people.”

According to her, making contraceptive accessible and easily available can be achieved through well-funded and active countryside media campaign supported by political leadership that provides information about the benefits of contraception, smaller families and the advantages of reducing risky pregnancies to the family, community and nation.

GIJ and Population Council to develop population reporting course

The Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ) and the National Population Council (NPC) are collaborating to develop a course module on population reporting for students in the school.

The programme, which will be piloted in the 2019/2020 academic year, according to the Rector of the school, Professor Kwamena Kwansah-Aidoo, is aimed at equipping students to better understand population dynamics and how it affects development.

Courtesy call

He gave the hint when he paid a courtesy call on the Executive Director of the National Population Council, Dr Leticia Adelaide Appiah at her office in Accra on Thursday, January 31, 2019.

Prof. Kwansah-Aidoo was accompanied by the Head of Research and Acting Head of the Department of Communication at the school, Dr Lawrencia Agyepong.

He said the visit was to enable him to familiarise himself with sister state institutions and to find out how best they (institutions) can collaborate to contribute to the development of the country.

He said NPC was doing something great which the GIJ finds worthy to collaborate with, saying “We are interested in what you do and we want you to be interested in what we do.”

According to Prof. Kwansah-Aidoo, the familiarization tour also forms part of activities to create public awareness about the school’s upcoming 60th anniversary.

The school was established in 1959 by the Kwame Nkrumah government to provide training in journalism toward the development of a patriotic cadre of journalists to play an active role in the emancipation of the African continent.

Linkage

For her part, Dr Agyepong, said “We want to link what we do to development of the country”, pointing out that GIJ as an institution does not only train communicators, but contributes to national development.

She commended NPC for instituting media award scheme to whip-up the interest of journalists in population reporting.

According to her, the award scheme will help promote understanding of population issues among the populace.

Touching on the course, Dr Agyepong said the course will be piloted in 2019/2020 academic year either at level 300 or 400, saying “we cannot leave population to chance.”

The Executive Director of the NPC, Dr Leticia Adelaide Appiah, expressed optimism that the collaboration between the two institutions would greatly contribute to the development of the country.

Population reporting

“It is important that we work together for the content our media people put out so that policy makers and stakeholders would well appreciate the impacts of population on national development,” she stated.

She expressed her happiness about the decision of the school to introduce a course on population reporting, noting that “I am excited that you have come on board. If we do not sow in season, we cannot reap the expected outcome.”

According to Dr Appiah, issues of population are long term things and that long term things don’t attract people’s attention, hence many people particularly in Ghana do not see the effects of the country’s growing population.

“Population is everything,” she said, adding that the decision by GIJ to introduce a course will help journalists and media practitioner to have better understanding of population issues and how to report on such issues with clarity.

Dr Appiah said any developed country takes population issues seriously, stressing that “people are not seeing the importance of population.”
Synchronization

She also expressed worry about lack of synchronization among state institutions, pointing out that such a practice leaves a lot to be desired.

According to her, it would be better if state institutions and agencies work together in the discharge of their duties, saying “We need to work together. We cannot sit in our silos.”

Media awards on population reporting in Ghana launched

A maiden media contest on population and development journalism has been launched in Accra with a call on government to prioritize funding for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) education in the country.

This, according to the Executive Director of the National Population Council (NPC), Dr Leticia Adelaide Appiah, would help to prevent unintended pregnancies and improve maternal and child health in the country.

“We can either invest in reproductive health information and services and reap the dividends or ignore it and continue to bear the expenditure of unintended pregnancies, both in the short and long terms,” she said.

Impacts

According to her, the full value of investing in sexual and reproductive health services had really been underestimated in the country, saying “We need to intentionally prioritise funding for SRHR because we cannot be neutral; we are either part of the solution or part of the problem.”

Speaking at the launch of the maiden population and development media awards, Dr Appiah said 90 per cent of all adolescent pregnancies in 2017 ended up in unsafe abortions.

According to her, such pregnancies and abortions could have been prevented if the victims had access to information on SRHR.

She explained, for instance, that “Adolescent childbearing has remained at almost 14 per cent since 2003 with 50 per cent of married adolescents, not using any form of modern contraception.”

“Factors accounting for these outcomes are multiple, and include inadequate access to information on SRHR, social stigmatization against persons who access SRHR services such as family planning particularly among adolescents,” Dr Appiah stated.

Awards

Touching on the awards scheme, Dr Appiah said it was intended to increase media reportage on population, family planning and its related issues, saying “by this, the NPC and its partners will be engaging the media on a regular basis to help in the dissemination of information on population and development from an informed position.”

From left: Minister for Information, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah; Executive Director of the National Population Council (NPC), Dr Leticia Adelaide Appiah, and Executive Director of the Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG), Mrs. Abena Acheampong.

According to her, the ultimate aim of the awards was to celebrate and recognize the best of population and development reporting across the country “which convey relevant information on population and development to the people of Ghana.”

Dr Appiah said the submissions would be opened from December 1, this year, to June 30, 2019, and that the awards would be held in July, 2019 to climax the World Population Day.

She, therefore, encouraged journalists and media practitioners to report more on population and SRHR issues to enable them to win any of the categories in the contest.

Motivation

The Executive Director of the Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG), Mrs. Abena Acheampong, said the awards would serve as a motivation to journalists to report on population and SRHR issues in the country.

According to her, issues on population and SRHR had been underreported in the country probably due to the lack of information and understanding on it by journalists and media practitioners.

She said issues on population and SRHR affected every aspect of the country’s development, hence the need to educate the public on them.

Mrs. Acheampong noted that PPAG would continue to partner NPC and other relevant stakeholders to disseminate information and educate the Ghanaian public on issues on population and SRHR.

Government’s support

 

The Minister for Information, Mr. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, who officially launched the awards scheme, said population issues were of great importance to the government, as government programmes and policies were all tied to the population of the country.

He, therefore, urged the media to continue to serve as agents of development by highlighting issues that affected the very existence of the citizenry.

“The best journalist is the one who looks out for stories that the society must hear,” he said, pledging the support of the government towards the organisation of the awards.

Mr. Oppong Nkrumah also called on corporate bodies, both public and private to support the organization of the award since population affected every business, saying “consider it (this media contest) as your Corporate Social Responsibility.”

Teenage pregnancy and child marriage; effects on sustainable national development

Being the first born of six siblings, I have experienced the popular adage of “leave it for the little ones to enjoy”. I kept asking myself, cant I also enjoy? Then the truth dawned on me, I can’t enjoy alongside my little siblings because my parents are not affluent and can’t provide for us all adequately. Well, how can I complain when my mother was pushed into child marriage and got pregnant as a teenager?

The Challenge of child marriage and teenage pregnancy have over the years been a canker which various governments who assumed office try to fight. In 1960, the total population of Ghana was about 6.7 million but has multiplied over four times to 29 million as of 2017.

However, in that same 1960, Spain had a population of about 30.5 and in 2017 their population was estimated to be around 46.4 million. Comparing Spain to Ghana, it is an undeniable fact that we have high rate of population growth. Now the question is: what has triggered high growth of population in this country?

In Today’s Ghana, it is popular to find young girls between the ages of 12-18 pregnant and loitering about the streets. While some struggle to make themselves productive by selling water, toffees, handkerchiefs, bread, dusters and others in dangerous traffic situations, the rest hide in their rooms out of shame and fear of public ridicule.


Ghana, all over Africa is known to be one of the many African countries engulfed in low education literacy, poverty both at regional and national levels, rate of unemployment and high mortality and morbidity if sky rocketing all in the name of child marriages and teenage pregnancies which is has brought such avoidable repercussions.

Teenage pregnancy and child marriage are cankers eating deep into the country’s coffers and contribute to large family sizes, which in turn increases consumption and reduce savings at both the family and National level thereby hindering National Development.

It should be noted that the calibre of people being discussed here are not of the working class so therefore, are not productive and hence do not contribute to the Family or national development in any way but rather create burdensome situation for family and the Nation at large.

If a large number of the population who do not belong to the productive class are dependent on the few working classes, how will our economy be stable when there is an imbalance between dependent population and working population? Gone are the days when the quantity of children one had, determines ones strength.


Today, to better our Nation, the best we can do is to make education the pillar for effective productivity from the younger population who are the future generation. With a sizeable population growth, we could increase our GDP, life expectancy, decrease access to health services, water and electricity.

We all need to be involved in fighting these cankers and the media, traditional authorities, religious leaders, parliamentarians, private sector, politicians, NGO’s and all must hold forces together to ensure that the vision of a sustained quality of life for all Ghanaians to see the light of day.

 

The writer is an officer of the Information Services Department (ISD) and the Head of Public Relations- National Population Council.

Young actors trained in reproductive health

Developed by the NPC as part of a multi-media campaign for adolescents, YOLO is a component of the Ghana Adolescent Reproductive Health (GHARH) programme being implemented by the Palladium Group with support from the UK Government.

 

The National Population Council (NPC) had held a two-day workshop to build the capacity of the cast of a television series that promote adolescent sexuality and rights, to be role models and ambassadors in their localities.

The cast, who are themselves young persons star in the YOLO (You only live once) television series that seeks to increase young people’s access to appropriate health information and health services by enhancing the social, legal and cultural environment for the improvement of young people’s reproductive health.

Developed by the NPC as part of a multi-media campaign for adolescents, YOLO is a component of the Ghana Adolescent Reproductive Health (GHARH) programme being implemented by the Palladium Group with support from the UK Government.

Addressing the workshop participants, Dr Leticia Adelaide Appiah, Executive Director of the NPC said adolescence is a period of transition therefore there is the need for innovative campaigns like the YOLO TV Series which provides the platform for information sharing on reproductive health issues, hygiene and behaviour change.

She said the capacity-strengthening workshop was also to encourage the cast to strive to transmit Sexual and Reproductive Health and day-to-day health messages to young people all over the country.

Dr Appiah noted that just like all societies, Ghana has to prepare its young people into adulthood.

“Whether it is done formally or informally, consciously or unconsciously, a considerable amount of effort is needed for this task. All the major players, family, religious organisations, educational system, political leaders, employment opportunities, recreational facilities, community and social institutions are required to devote varying amount of time and resources to the socialisation of new comers,” she stated.

The traditional agencies of socialisation especially family, school, church and community should also have the task to transmit the core values of respect, good manners, honesty integrity and discipline since no society can develop or survive without these values, Dr Appiah added.

According to the 2014 Demographic Health Survey (DHS) 14 per cent of teenagers 15-19 in the country were either mothers or pregnant at the time of the survey, Dr Appiah emphasised.

She explained that the YOLO series has two target groups. “The primary target are those between the ages of 10 to 19 years and young people who are sexually active and require information to protect themselves from their risky lifestyle as well as others who face challenges bothering on peer pressure, cultural practices including early and forced marriages, unplanned pregnancies, and abortion.”

The secondary targets, she added, are parents, guardians, the extended family, and stakeholders with interest in youth development at policy level, policy and decision- makers, community and opinion leaders and the media.

Reproduction project
Dr. Appiah said the GHARH is a three-year programme being piloted in all twenty-seven districts of the Brong Ahafo region and  some parts of the Ashanti region

It aimed at building Government’s capacity in the delivery of adolescent reproductive health programmes while also generating evidence that will allow the scale up of cost effective adolescent reproductive health interventions in the country.

As part of the GHARH project implementation, the National Population Council (NPC) contracted Farm House Production to develop a multi-media campaign for adolescents in Ghana called YOLO, she expanded.

“Farmhouse production was contracted since they has prior experience as the production house which developed “Things We Do for Love’’ – an old drama series developed around the late nineties to entertain and educate young people on sexual and reproductive health issues.”

YOLO
Palladium has adopted a comprehensive approach in the use of social media as a tool to educate adolescents on sexual reproductive health and a chat platform has also been developed for discussions on YOLO in schools.

More so, there is also going to be a voice over to be done in Twi for YOLO seasons one and two in schools.

The season one, two and three of the TV Series have been viewed on YouTube about three million times and out of this sixty per cent of the views are from Ghana with the remaining forty per cent spread across the world.

NPC: Ghana’s annual population growth alarming

Dr. Leticia Appiah

Ghana’s annual population growth is alarming, the National Population Council (NPC) has noted.

According to the Council, the country for the past three decades has grown its population by 2.5 per cent yearly, which translates into between 700,000 and 800,000.

This rate is more than the global target of annual population growth of 1.5 per cent, which engenders optimal development, the Council stated.

The Executive Director of the NPC, Dr Leticia Appiah at Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) sitting in Accra yesterday, said a population of 27 million people growing at 2.5 was “alarming” and that there was the need for the country’s rate of population to be controlled.

She honoured the invitation of the committee to answer questions related to their performance and financial audit report of the Auditor-General for the year ended 31st December 2015 on Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

Dr Appiah said the structure of Ghana’s population is not properly placed as the dependent group of zero to 15 years hovers around 41 per cent of the total population of the country, a situation she said was “scary.”

“For population, the most important thing is the structure…we are a very youthful population and that accounts for much of our expenditure,” she said.

Asked of her advice for couples as part of what could be done to control the country’s growth, Dr Appiah said the focus on making babies should be on quality.

“We should have a number of children we can comfortably take care of, we should have standards for who a Ghanaian is and we should have quality human resource and it is only then that economic development will be achieved,” she stated.

Pregnancies above four, she said were risky though there were exceptions to every rule, and that it was important that parents adequately spaced births to give optimal health to both the mother and the child.

“For me, I wasn’t too surprised that we went to the Olympic games and didn’t get any medal because we have a document that says that 37 per cent of Ghanaians were stunted as children.

“This means we were malnourished and if you are malnourished, it’s very difficult to compete against somebody who is fully nourished and win any medals against them,” she said to loud laughs by members on the committee.

“Why is it that those who give us money from global fund have two children and we those who go for money from them have ten?

“Because they have two, they can afford to save and give us some but because we have ten, we just spend on food, clothing, schools…. and that is why we keep constructing more schools and hospitals,” Dr Appiah said.

Of the world’s estimated 7.5 billion people by the United Nations in April this year, Asia has 4.4 billion, Africa controls 1.2 billion, Europe, 738.8 million, North America 579 million, South America, 422 million and Australia 39.9 million.

NPC trains youth as adolescent health ambassadors

Some of the cast at the workshop

The cast of a television series, ‘You only Live Once’ (YOLO), which promotes adolescent development and health rights, have been urged to be worthy ambassadors to young people in the country.

Addressing the cast at a capacity building workshop organised by the National Population Council (NPC), Ms Efua Prah of the Palladium Group said with the popularity gained by the young stars, other young people who have come to admire them will look up to them.

She therefore advised the stars to strive to exhibit good behaviour and also be well informed on adolescent development issues so that they can be helpful to young people who approach them for information.

Ms Pra also called on them to acquire leadership skills, as that will help them in their new role as ambassadors.

Innovative campaign
The Executive Director of NPC, Dr Leticia Adelaide Appiah, noted that the YOLO television series is an innovative campaign which provides the platform for information sharing on reproductive health issues, hygiene and behaviour change.

It was developed by the NPC as part of the Ghana Adolescent Reproductive Health (GHARH) programme being piloted in the Brong Ahafo region with the support of the UK Government, she said.

Dr Appiah indicated that the programme would embark on a community sensitisation with the YOLO cast in Kumasi next month.

She further said season four of the series will soon be aired, while a voice over of the season one and two series, in Twi, will be developed for schools in the Brong Ahafo and Ashanti regions.

In addition, she stated, the cast will be invited for panel discussions when necessary.

Good examples
The workshop participants expressed their preparedness to be good examples for their peers. They were particularly grateful for the opportunity to enhance their knowledge in adolescent development and health right