Improving family planning service delivery to adolescents in Ghana: evidence from the Kintampo North Municipality and Kintampo South District

Yeetey A. Enuameh, Kintampo Health Research Centre (KHRC)
Ernest Nettey, Kintampo Health Research Centre (KHRC)
Charlotte Tawiah, Kintampo Health Research Centre (KHRC)
Abubakari Sulemana, Kintampo Health Research Centre (KHRC)
Ellen Boamah, Kintampo Health Research Centre (KHRC)
Alex Manu, Kintampo Health Research Centre (KHRC)
Janine Barden-Ofallon, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Seth Owusu-Agyei, Kintampo Health Research Centre (KHRC)

Family planning (FP) essentially empowers individuals and couples to anticipate and attain their desired number of children by facilitating appropriate spacing and timing of births through contraceptive use and involuntary infertility treatment. The appropriate spacing and limiting of pregnancies has a tremendous impact on the health of mothers and on overall pregnancy outcomes. Encouraging FP uptake among adolescents is vital to reducing maternal mortality (MDG 5) and infant mortality (MDG 4) from resultant births and other complications. Adolescents make up a fifth of the population of the Kintampo North Municipality and the Kintampo South district, indicators that are similar to those of the country Ghana as a whole. Though they remain high, pregnancy rates among adolescents have seen some decline in recent years in most low and middle income countries like Ghana. In direct contrast to the high pregnancy rates, general contraceptive use among adolescents in Ghana is low. This study seeks to identify the baseline, trends and changes in FP needs and practices of adolescents over time in the Kintampo North Municipality and the Kintampo South District of the Brong Ahafo Region of Ghana; using this evidence to define the best approach to satisfying their FP needs. The present document will focus on baseline findings as part of a longitudinal study of the sexual and reproductive health needs of the population being conducted through the Kintampo Health and Demographic Surveillance System (KHDSS). We collected data using a mixed-methods (quantitative and qualitative) approach and from multi-informant sources (male and female adolescents, community members and health care providers in the study area). Ultimately, we expect findings from this study to influence FP policy and programmatic direction at the Ministry of Health (MOH) in Ghana and beyond.

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Presented in Session 65: Adolescents and youth sexuality