Mr. Kojo Adih, Acting Volta Regional Population Officer, National Population Council (NPC), has suggested that family planning methods should be made accessible and free for rural dwellers.
He said that would help achieve a reduction in the fast growing population of the country, which currently stood at 30.2 million, according to the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS).
Mr Adih in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) said through free family planning methods, Ghana could attain a lower fertility rate, which would lead to a more balanced age structure, conducive for economic growth.
Some analysts have described Ghana’s population growth as “alarming” with an annual growth rate of 2.5 per cent as against the projected growth of 1.5 per cent. Mr Adih said contraceptive prevalence in the Volta Region increased by 7.3 per cent above the national rate of 22.2 per cent but total fertility rate rose to 4.3 per cent, higher than the national average of 4.2 per cent.
He said according to the 1994 Population Policy, by the year 2020, contraceptive prevalence must hit 50 per cent while total fertility rate hovers around 3.0 per woman. Mr Adih said if interventions were not streamlined to meet the high need for family planning, population growth may not match available infrastructure.
Mr Chris Amewu, Volta Regional Statistician, GSS, said the region’s population had grown from 2.1 million since the last census in 2010 to a projected figure of 2.6 million in 2019.
He said Ghana had no policy on birth regulation, therefore no cap on an ideal growth rate and that the country’s youthful population could be advantageous to its economic growth.