The Ghana Health Service has re-launched female condoms in the Northern Region, with the aim of sensitising the public on the need to patronise the product as a birth control method.
Dr. Jacob Yakubu Mahama, Deputy Director in charge of Public Health in the Region, expressed worry that despite the numerous sensitisation programmes undertaken in the area, the use of contraceptives was not very popular.
He said the region recorded 28 per cent usage of family planning methods in 2008, which was the highest performance ever, but the figure dropped to 10 per cent in patronage in 2012.
Dr. Mahama noted that the traditional beliefs and perceptions of the people were largely responsible for the abysmal patronage.
Dr. Mahama raised these concerns at Sankpala in the Central Gonja District on Tuesday, to mark the regional re-launch of the female condom.
The programme was on the theme: "Preventing untended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases infections, a key to reproductive health."
Dr. Mahama observed that males were the dominant decision makers in the region, accounting for the low usage of the female condom.
He advised couples to space the birth of their children to facilitate healthier families and prevent maternal mortalities.
Mr. Alhassan Abukari, District Coordinating Director, expressed concern that only 11.5 per cent of the people in the district used contraceptives in 2010, 13.2 per cent in 2011, and 14 per cent so far in 2012.
He said the situation created problems for sexually active persons.
Chief Alhassan Issahaku Amadu, Regional Population Officer, noted that the region had a high fertility rate of 6.8 per cent, which he attributed to lack of interest by many people to use contraceptives.
He said due to the high fertility rate, many parents could not afford to give their children quality education, resulting in many females falling prey to males who used them as sex objects.