The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has disclosed its intention to incorporate Family Planning Methods into the National Health Insurance Package. The Service is also working to Institutionalize Comprehensive Abortion Care in both Public and Private Facilities.
The Director of Family Health Division of the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Kofi Issa, indicated that the move forms part of measures taken by the Ghana Health Service to prevent maternal mortalities and disabilities in the country’s health facilities. He thus, stated that “the earlier the role of family planning is incorporated into the country’s health care system to reduce such deaths, the better.”
“The role of family planning in reducing preventable maternal death has long been identified, and that justifies the new national policy of including clinical family planning methods into the NHIS minimum benefit package for all women.”Dr. Kofi Issa
Dr. Kofi Issa noted that there is an evidence which showed that nearly half of pregnancies are unintended. As such, a significant proportion of women in their reproductive age with unintended pregnancies resort to abortion. Unfortunately, abortion related maternal death, though highly preventable, remain under reported due to issue of stigma that surrounds it.
“For fear of social embarrassment or incurring huge costs, women and girls have had to resort to undignified abortion methods or the use of obnoxious substances that could either end their lives or leave them with life changing complications, including infertility and psychological trauma.”Dr. Kofi Issa
Maternal Mortality Largely Caused by Illegal Abortion
The Director of Family Health Division of the Ghana Health Service stated that a campaign on zero tolerance for maternal death under the themed, “Stop Preventable Maternal Death and Disabilities” means the Ghana Health Service is seeking the support of all stakeholders to remove all the barriers and unfair treatments that push women and girls with unintended pregnancies to dangerous paths that lead to their untimely deaths.
Dr. Kofi Issah averred that Maternal Mortality is a national priority and all efforts must be geared to stopping it. He implored all Ghanaians to rally behind.
The Director General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Patrick Kumah Aboagye, noted that, “no woman or girl in Ghana should ever have to use unsafe abortion due to social stigma or financial limitations”. He therefore, called for support to remove all forms of barriers to abortion care in the Country.
The Ghana Health Service throughout the years has been creating awareness campaign themed the zero tolerance for preventable maternal deaths aimed at educating the populace on the use of family planning services and promoting the study of sexual reproductive health rights in schools across the country.
Dr. Kofi Issah stated that most complications including deaths recorded at health facilities are from unsafe abortions. According to him, this makes the situation urgent and need a special attention.
Recently, the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) also disclosed that, it is considering the coverage of treatment of childhood cancers and family planning services under the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
Dr Dsane-Selby, the CEO of NHIA noted that analysis indicated the scheme could accommodate the treatment of childhood cancers and provision of family planning services without much strain.