Professor Eugene Darteh, Head of Department of Population and Health at the University of Cape Coast, has said it is unrealistic to achieve the ‘three babies per family’ policy target in Ghana.
According to him, the state must rather focus on investing in health, education and jobs, in order to control population growth.
The National Population Council (NPC) is pushing for the enforcement of an existing policy that enjoins couples to give birth to a maximum of three babies as a resolute measure for population control.
According to the National Population Policy, the main targets for the population policy were to reduce the total fertility rate from 5.5 to 5.0 by the year 2000, 4.0 by 2010 and 3.0 by 2020.
The council is also proposing that severe sanctions be imposed on couples who will exceed the stipulated three babies.
The Executive Director for the NPC, Dr Leticia Adelaide Appiah, has warned in an interview with the Daily Graphic that the current annual growth rate of 2.5 per cent posed a threat to national development.
She, therefore, asked the government to review and synchronise the free maternal health policy with the target of the total fertility rate, which advocated three children for every family.
Dr Appiah said couples must be made to bear the social cost of every child outside the stipulated three.
The tax payer, she said, “must not be made to bear the cost of additional children by families who exceed the three children. No, it should not be a burden on the state and so we must review our social intervention programmes to reflect this policy.”
But speaking on Ghana Yensom on Accra 100.5FM, on Wednesday, 25 July 2018, Prof Darteh said: “I don’t think we can achieve that target that everybody should give birth to three. How can you achieve that?
“Rather than focusing on this target, the state must invest in health, education and jobs to deal with issues with population. Without doing these things, I don’t think we can achieve that policy,” he added.