The 52nd Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Plan Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG) was on Friday opened in Accra with a call on men to support the growth and development of women.

Dr Koma Jehu-Appiah, Country Director of Ipas Ghana, who made the call, at the opening of the two day AGM of the association, said it was about time men helped girls and women to attain higher heights in education to enable them fully develop their potential.

“Men, society and the government as a whole must allow girls to grow, early child marriage are hindering the development of girls and the present rates of teenage pregnancy were frightening,” he said

Dr Rashid Pelpuo, Chairman of the population and development caucus of parliament advised the youth to endeavour to plan their lives well, give birth responsibly as their way to contributing to development.

Commenting on the theme for the AGM “Reviving the Spirit of Volunteerism through Productivity to Enhance the SRHR Agenda”, Dr Pelpuo stressed the need for the association and volunteers to re-strategies and position themselves to remain relevant to the demands of volunteerism in the country.

“If as volunteers, there is no plan to ensure financial stability of PPAG, the several hundreds of young people who have benefited and continue to benefit from the service of the association would be left out,”.

He urged volunteers to continue to make their skills available to the association at all levels saying “I want to call on all Ghanaians who have benefitted from the advocacy of PPAG to come on board and help sustain the association.

Dr Pelpuo commended PPAG for a sustained advocacy over the years and for setting up family health clinics to provide education on Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights.

Ms Abena Adubea Amoah, Executive Director of PPAG said the association would in the year expand the works of its sister clubs in communities to help break stigma associated with abortion and reduce the high rates of illegal abortion among young girls.

The PPAG would according to her continue to design and implement innovative programmes that provide information and services in family planning, HIV prevention, maternal and health counselling among others to the youth.

Ms Amoah encouraged the youth to stay away from pre-marital and unprotected sex and focus on their studies while in school, she also entreated teachers to be committed to the teaching of the Comprehensive Sexuality Education.

She said the PPAG had set up a social enterprise which had recently received accreditation from the Nursing and Midwifery Council to start delivering professional courses to health workers.

The PPAG   which was set up in 1967 to provide family planning services to the people of Ghana has expanded it works to provide sexual reproductive health service among others to the public.

The association has for the past 52 years worked to complement the government’s efforts to end child marriage, teenage pregnancy, promote safe motherhood and child survival in some parts of the country.

Source: GNA