World Population Day 2017 (WPD) has been celebrated annually since 1989. The day is observed internationally on 11th July to focus attention and increase awareness on various population issues such as family planning, gender equality, poverty, maternal health, human rights, environment and its impact on development. Significantly, this year, 2017 marks the fifth year of progress and achievements since the launch of FP2020 in 2012. The UK Government and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, in partnership with UNFPA, National governments, donors, civil society, the private sector, the research and development community, and others from across the world came together at the London Summit on Family Planning to support the right of women and girls to decide, freely and for themselves, whether, when and how many children they can have.
As part of the celebration of the fifth anniversary of FP2020, a Ghanaian delegation comprising Mrs.Tina Mensah, Honourable Deputy Minister of Health, Dr. Afisah Zakaria, Chief Director, Health Ministry and Dr. Patrick Aboagye, Director, Family Health Division, Ghana Health Service participated in FP2020 Summit in London on 11th July 2017. The Second Lady of the Republic of Ghana, Mrs. Samira Bawumia was invited to be part of the event in her capacity as the Adolescent Health Champion for the Country. Various events were undertaken both at the summit and around the world to highlight progress toward expanding access to family planning to chart a path forward for accelerating progress. As part of the wider Family Planning Summit celebrations, Ghana Health Service and National Population Council and other in-country partners with support from DFID/UKAID held a satellite event that coincided with the 2017 World Population Day Celebration in the country.
The global theme for the 2017 World Population Day celebration was “Family Planning, Empowering People, Developing Nations” and the local theme adopted for the celebration in Ghana was “Family Planning, Healthy People for Sustainable National Development”. This provided the platform for the National Population Council and its partners to critically assess the reproductive health needs of Ghanaians and create awareness that investments into family planning is a socio- economic imperative.