The Western Regional Directorate of the National Population Council says the alarming rate of children and youth under 24 in the western Region called for the cutting down of figures for development and growth purposes.
Such a bracket of almost 60 percent of the Western Regions population being under 24 according to Francis Asante, the Regional Head has rippling effects on reproduction and may continually increase this age bracket if nothing was done on time to change the demographic feature.
This came to light during a media engagement on Post-World Population day celebration in Sekondi. The worldwide theme is: Family Planning is Human Right but Ghana had added “An Imperative to National Development” to drum home the importance of family planning in population control.
He said family planning was the best since it saved families and the nation lots of resources that could be channelled into development and infrastructure for the well-being of society.
Mr Asante intimated that a well-planned family enabled parents to be more and more responsible towards the needs of their children and raise responsible children.
“Family planning could also help to reduce social vices, improve the health of mothers and children because parents become responsible in all areas and are able to guard and guide their smaller families to earn a better living for themselves”.
It is extrapolated that by 2040, the population of the Region could increase to 4.8 million from the current 2.4 million if steps were not adopted to curtail births among communities.
The Region has a total fertility rate of 4.3 percent, with two refugee camps accounting for more than 4000 people. The Region contributes 60 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Products.
Mr Asante said quality human resource was key to national development same way rapid population growth with less quality had negative effects on development and environment as a whole.
He said the fight against rapid population growth therefore called for available resources both financial and logistics to effectively engage communities to adopt birth control measures that could enable the country to achieve positive results in that area.
According to him, contraceptive use in Ghana was still low among both men and women and in the Region and accounted for 23.3 percent and pregnancy among both young and old stood at 2.7 percent.
The regional population team therefore proposed that one percent of the fund be distributed to constituencies into the regional and districts councils to fund more education and awareness on family planning and other related issues.
There must also be population desks at all the Development Authorities created by the government to manage and monitor population growth as well as the reconstitution of the population council to carry out their duties at the various strata of society.