Why do we need to plan our family size?
Health & Nutrition – Ideal family size depends on the capacity of the head of the family to provide health and nutrition cares for each and every member of the household.
For example, a couple may want to have six children and if they could afford the cost, then it is alright for them to have six children. But, if they cannot take good care of their children then is not necessary giving birth to such number. Another thing to consider is the child bearing capacity of the woman. A woman must consult her doctor or rural health workers to determine their child bearing capacity.
Economic – The soundness of mind and body of our future generation rely on what parents provide for their good growth. In considering the number of children for a household, the couple must consider if they can give or afford good nutrition. The cost of health is another factor to consider. In order to have a health coverage, families are encouraged to resister for health insurance that will help pay for future medical costs.
“Education is the only wealth parents can give to their children that could not be stolen from them.”
Methods of family planning
The following are available methods for family planning but it highly advised that couple should consult a doctor to advise them on which method will best suit them.
- Birth-control pills
- Natural methods
Example of Natural Method of Family Planning.
- Calendar or Date method.
This is said to be the most reliable, convenient and affordable method provided one can follow the date step by step. It is practically demonstrated on the table below.
PPAG – Plan Parenthood Association of Ghana
Offices of PPAG are found in every district capital in Ghana.
Clinics & Hospitals
HIV / AIDS
AIDS is a sickness which eventually develops in people infected with a virus called Human Immune Deficiency Virus (HIV).
HIV behaves like termites in a wooden house. At first the virus hides inside the body and multiplies. Nobody realizes that anything is wrong, and the person looks and feels fine, at this point the person is living with HIV but not AIDS.
It takes a very long time for termites to eat through the wood in the house and make it so weak that it cannot withstand wind and rain. Someone can live with HIV infection for a number of years before the immune system becomes so weak that it cannot fight off other illnesses.
The person the starts to get sicknesses such as weight loss, frequent fever, diarrhea, cough and skin problems. As time goes on the person gets serious illnesses in the brain and lungs, at this point the person now has AIDS and will die.
How is HIV Spread?
HIV is only found in large enough amounts to infect another person in four body fluids:
- Vaginal fluid
- Breast milk
HIV is not found in the air, it dies quickly when dried, heated or in acid. Saliva, tears, and sweat do not contain enough HIV to infect another person. The HIV in the blood, semen and vaginal fluid has to get inside the body of another person and into their bloodstream. This can only happen through the following ways:
- Through unprotected sex. HIV infections happen during Vaginal or anal sex between men and women. It can also be spread between two men having anal sex or between two women.
- From mother to baby. HIV from an infected mother can enter a baby in the womb, during delivery or breastfeeding.
- Through blood. If blood is taken from a person with HIV and transfused into another person, that person will also get HIV.
- Through unsterilized equipment. HIV can pass from one person to another on needles or razors that are not sterilized each time they are used. People who inject drugs often get HIV for this reason.
How HIV is not spread
HIV can not be spread through the following ways:
- Shaking hands
- Sharing toilets
- Going to school together with an infected person
- Sharing clothes, food or drink with an infected person
- Mosquito bites, etc.
Prevention of HIV
- Practice safe sex, use condoms
- Be faithful to your partner
- Avoid using razor blades, needles and other sharp objects that has been used by different people
- Infected couples should always use condoms to avoid re-infection.
Testing and Councilling
Testing and councilling is avaliable free of charge at Health Clinics. Knowing your HIV status will enable you to take control of your health. If your test is positive the Health Clinic will be able to give you support, medication and information about how to manage your health status. It is important to ensure that, sexual partners are also tested and offered information and councilling. If your test is negative the clinic can offer you advise and information about how to keep yourself safe and healthy. It is also important that re-testing is carried out if you have been put at risk of infection.
Management of HIV/AIDS
People living with the disease can live productive lives by adopting the following measures.
- Eating of nutritionally adequate diet
- Taking retro- viral drugs..
- Infected couples should use condom to avoid re-infection.
- Pregnant women and lactating mothers with the disease should use condoms to avoid re-infection