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Use incentives to encourage family planning – Population Council to government

Aug. 21, 2017, 4:38 p.m.

The Executive Director of the National Population Council, Leticia Adelaide Appiah is advocating for the government to use incentives to encourage Ghanaians to use family planning methods as a way of controlling the country’s fast-growing population.

According to her, the population growth rate if not checked would reduce the quality of human resource in the country and stagnate economic development.

Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show on Monday, Dr Appiah said despite the importance of population growth, it must be regulated to correspond with economic development.

“Population growth is good, but it should be regulated so that it does not outstrip economic development,” she said.

The 2016 Population and Housing Census pegged Ghana’s total population at 28.21 million.

China is among the few countries in the world who have adopted a major population control policy to restrict childbirth.

In 1979, the country started the “one child per family policy” (Juali Li 563) which stated that citizens must obtain a birth certificate before the birth of their children.

A state government in India has instituted a policy to offer newlyweds a cash grant of 5000 rupees or $106 to wait two years to have their first child. Other states have also made having more than two children a disqualification from holding public office.

But Dr Leticia Appiah said Ghana must not necessarily place a cap on the number of children couples are allowed to produce but reward those who take up family planning initiatives such as spacing and delaying childbirth.

“If the person wants it [a child] you cannot deprive them…Our problem is population growth, why don’t we incentivize family planning uptake?” she quizzed.

She called on the government to make family planning services more accessible to encourage its patronage.

Dr Appiah further noted that government could consider placing a cap limit on the number of children per family to benefit from some of its social intervention programs to encourage family planning.