GNA Special Correspondent, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Courtesy: Women DeliverKuala Lumpur, May 31, GNA- Professor Fred Sai , former Presidential Advisor on Reproductive Health and HIV and AIDS, , on Thursday called for the need for Ghana to build on the enormous progress made in the health of girls and women.
He explained that there is an ever-increasing number of women who now have access to the maternal and reproductive health services and information they need to control their future and protect the wellbeing of their families.
This has led to an almost 50 per cent decrease in maternal deaths worldwide since 1990a staggering accomplishment, he noted.
Professor Sai made the call when he gave a brief on Looking to 2015 and Beyond as part of the on-going Women Deliver Conference, the third to be organised since 2007.
The conference is focusing on themes including the economic and social benefits of investing in girls and women, how to achieve the goal of reaching 120 million more women with voluntary family planning services by 2020; and the need to place girls and women at the heart of the post-2015 development agenda.
It is being organised by Women Deliver, a global advocacy organisation, which brings together voices around the world to call for action to improve the health and well-being of girls and women.
Prof Sai, who is also a Board member of Women Deliver, noted that despite the many impressive achievements and advancements, there are still much more to do to give women the lives they deserve.
Every year, 287,000 women still die during pregnancy and childbirth. That number is shocking, and far too high especially when we consider that most of these deaths are easily avoidable.
He expressed concern that the global community continue to debate the importance of safeguarding womens reproductive health.
Todays dissenting voices ignore the clear evidence that girls and women are critical to development. When women live healthy lives, they can work, take care of their families, and lead communities and countries. This is not up for debate. It is fact, he said.
Prof Sai mentioned family planning as one of the specific areas where much had not been done and called for the need for all to acknowledge that family planning is a right and also implement effective programmes to ensure that women have access to the products and services they need.
He called on policymakers around the globe to recognise that investing in girls and women is a necessity, not an option a right, not a privilege.
Other presenter like Ms Helen Clark, Administrator, United Nations Development Programme, Ms Tarja Halonen, Former President, Finland and Mary Mwende, Partnership Manager and Global Ambassador of the Global Give Back Circle echoed the need for governments to exhibit strong political will and invest in the health of girls and women and make available modern contraceptives.