NPC Awards
NPC Awards

The National population Council (NPC) has launched the first Population and Development Media Awards ceremony slated for July 2019, to motivate journalists to intensify their reportage on population growth and its impact on the economy.

The awards, which were launched in collaboration with the Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG) and the Ministry of Information in Accra, was to recognise the importance of the media in awareness creation on population and development issues.

The ultimate aim of the Awards is to celebrate and recognise the best of population and development reporting, which conveys relevant information on population and development to the citizenry.

The Award is also expected to increase government budgetary allocation for Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH), and positive public responses to sexual and reproductive health services, especially family planning.

The thematic areas for entry are financing of Family Planning, Comprehensive Sexuality Education (in and out of school), Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights, Population and Human Capital Development, and Abortion and its complications to support Family Planning Agenda.

The contest is open to all journalists and media houses based in Ghana as well as those legally residents in Ghana.

The official professional categories are best short video story, best audio story and best written story, published in magazines or newspapers and online.

The successful awardees would receive cash prizes and gadgets to enhance execution of their professional duties.

Dr Leticia Adelaide Appiah, the Executive Director of the NPC, said the full value of investing in sexual and reproductive health services had been underestimated.

She said according to the 2017 Ghana Maternal Health Survey, for over the past 20 years, only one in four married women (15 to 49 years) in Ghana use a modern method of contraception with the average number of children remaining at four.

According to the Ghana Statistical Services (2015, 2018), adolescent childbearing has remained almost 14 per cent since 2003 with 50 per cent of married adolescents not using any form of modern contraception.

The 2017 Ghana Maternal Health Survey revealed that, 90 per cent of all adolescent pregnancies end up in abortions, which are mainly unsafe.

Dr Appiah said the maternal mortality rate of 310 per 100,000 live births was far above the 70 per 100,000 live births target for developing countries in the Sustainable Development Goals.

Factors accounting for these outcomes, she said were multiple and included inadequate access to information on SRH, Social Stigmatisation against persons who access SRH services such as family planning particularly among adolescents.

Mr Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah, the Minister of Information, said population management was critical to national development and the number of citizens affected the optimal usage of resources for that population.

He said, therefore, it was necessary for the media to help in the sensitisation process to educate the populace on the impact of population growth to the family and the nation at large.

He commended the NPC for undertaking the initiative and gave the assurance that the Ministry was willing to lobby for support for the ceremony.

Madam Abena Adubea Amoah Acheampong, the Executive Director of the PPAG, sharing the African Women’s Report launched in July 2018, said more than half of maternal deaths worldwide occur in Sub-Saharan Africa.

She said three in five countries in Africa do not criminalise marital rape, and young women aged 15 to 24 in Sub-Saharan Africa are 2.5 times more likely to be infected with HIV than young men in the same age group.

She noted that in Ghana, teenage pregnancy stands at 14 per cent, and that means out of every 100 young girls, 14 of them get pregnant and loose out the possibility of achieving their dreams.

Madam Acheampong said the total fertility rate in Ghana is 3.9 children per woman but development in terms of housing infrastructure; schools, clinics etc. are in deficit in proportion to the population growth rate.

Applicants are encouraged to visit the links, https://goo.gl/XLU4VJ or http://bit.do/ezMnB to complete their registration requirements; or visit www.npc.gov.gh for further information.

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