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Accra

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Ghana / Accra
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OVERVIEW

In Ghana, contraception (birth control) is available without a prescription. However, modern contraceptive methods are not widely used, especially among poor women. Emergency contraception (the morning after pill) is available without a prescription and there are no age restrictions. There are no travel restrictions tied to HIV status, and more open-minded STD/STI testing facilities (that work with queer, sex worker and HIV-positive individuals) can be found. While abortion is not legal in all cases, it is legal under many circumstances and is certainly practiced in Ghana. For those interested in any women's health services, such as gynecological exams or referrals for abortion providers, Marie Stopes Ghana is a good places to consult first.

Contraception (Birth Control)[edit]

General Note: There are many types of contraceptives, also known as "birth control," including IUDs, oral contraceptives, patches, shots, and condoms, etc. If you would like to view a full list, click here.

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

In Ghana, you can purchase contraception (birth control) without a prescription. While contraceptives are available, they are not widely used by Ghanaian woman. In 2008, a study found that 17% of married women and 28% of sexually active unmarried women were using modern contraceptives. Furthermore, 35% of married women and 20% of sexually active unmarried women had unmet family planning needs. In particular, poor Ghanaian women had the lowest levels of contraceptive use. One of the main reasons reasons that Ghanaian women (34%) didn't use contraceptives was fear of health risks or side effects.

This low level of contraceptive usage often results in unintended pregnancies. While many of the women did not want a child at the time of the 2008 study, or they did not want children at all, they were not using contraceptive methods. As a result, 37% of pregnancies in Ghana are unintended, 23% are mistimed and 145 are unwanted. In 2008, family size in Ghana had decreased to 4 children (as opposed to 6.4 children in 1988). However, family planning needs and sexual education still have major inroads to make in Ghanaian society.[1]

There are currently initiatives in Ghana that aim to train health care providers, such as nurses and midwives, about contraceptive methods. For example, DKT International has worked to train health care providers about IUDS, contraceptive implants and other modes of family planning.[2]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • In Ghana, you can find condoms sold in pharmacies, health care centers and online stores. For example, you can buy Durex, Fiesta, Pasante and Rough Rider condoms from Ikann, which is branded as "Ghana's first online pharmacy."
  • You can purchase birth control pills without a prescription at pharmacies. Some brands you can expect to see are Diane 35, Ovrette, Lydia, Lo-Femenal, Microgynon-30 and Yasmin. To see prices for these pills, visit the "Costs" section below.
  • You can find intrauterine devices (IUDs) in Ghana. For example, you can get the hormonal IUD at Marie Stopes Ghana. For more information, call toll-free for a confidential talk (0800 20 85 85) OR WhatsApp (0556489090).
  • You can find contraceptive shots/injectables in Ghana. For example, you can get contraceptive shots/injectables at Marie Stopes Ghana. For more information, call toll-free for a confidential talk (0800 20 85 85) OR WhatsApp (0556489090).
  • * You can find contraceptive implants in Ghana. For example, you can get contraceptive implants at Marie Stopes Ghana. For more information, call toll-free for a confidential talk (0800 20 85 85) OR WhatsApp (0556489090).

Contraception Resources[edit]

  • Lydia provides contraceptive options for women in Ghana, including oral contraceptives and Lydia 'Safeload' IUD. "Lydia Contraceptive is a trademark of DKT International, an NGO and one of the largest private providers of family planning and reproductive health products and services in the developing world. DKT International Inc. Ghana was established in 2011 with its head office in Accra. DKT Ghana has a core mission to provide SRH products and services to the people of Ghana." Check out the website for details.
  • Marie Stopes International - Ghana: "Marie Stopes International Ghana (MSI Ghana) has become a leader in the provision of quality family planning services, a voice for collaboration between the private sector, NGOs and Ghana Health Services on critical issues of women’s health, and an innovator of strategies to reach under-served women and families... Through the USAID-funded Strengthening International Family Planning Organizations (SIFPO) project, MSI Ghana will increase access to and knowledge of sexual and reproductive health services among the female porters (Kayayei) in Accra and develop referrals for gender-based violence services." To find all MSI Ghana locations, click here. Contact: Marie Stopes International Ghana, C900/4 Mensah Sarbah Road, Kokomelemle, Accra North, Ghana. Telephone: +223 (0) 544 340 153 / +233 (0) 302 241 517. Email: info@mariestopes.org.gh.

Costs[edit]

  • Here are costs you can expect for birth control pills in Ghana, compiled from two different pharmacies in Accra (February 2018): Yasmin - between GHC 83.50 to 86.50; Diane 35 - between GHC 53.9 to 56; Microgynon pack (1x21 - 16, Microgynon (3x21) - GHC 48.6; Dianette - GHC 35; Microgynon Fe - GHC 5; Lydia - GHC 3.

Emergency Contraception (Morning After Pill)[edit]

Important Notes: Emergency contraception may prevent pregnancy for three days (72 hours) and sometimes five days (120 hours) after unprotected sex. Take EC as soon as possible after unprotected sex. If you don't have access to dedicated EC, oral contraceptives can be used as replacement EC, but remember the following: 1) Only some contraceptives work as EC 2) Different contraceptives require different dosages and time schedules to work as EC 3) You must only use the first 21 pills in 28-day packs and 4) They may be less effective than dedicated EC. For general information on emergency contraceptives, click here and here.

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

In Ghana, you purchase emergency without a prescription. There are no age restrictions. In the public and private health sectors, the lowest cadre of health workers who are allowed to sell or dispense EC are community health workers. In 2008, it was estimated that 2.9% of Ghanaian women of reproductive age had ever used EC, and 35.4% of women of reproductive age had knowledge of EC.[3]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • In Ghana, you can purchase emergency (morning after pill) without a prescription at pharmacies. Some brands you can expect to find are NorLevo 1.5mg (take 1 pill within 120 hours after unprotected sex) and Pregnon (take 2 pills within 120 hours after unprotected sex).[4]
  • If you can't access dedicated emergency contraception, you can use birth control pills as replacement EC instead. To do this with progestin-only pills, you can take Ovrette (take 40 pills within 120 hours after unprotected sex). To do this with progestin-estrogen combined pills, you can take Lo-Femenal or Microgynon-30 (take 4 pills within 120 hours after unprotected sex and take 4 more pills 12 hours later). For combined pills with in 28-day packs, only the first 21 pills can be used.[5]
  • Lydia provides emergency contraception (called "Lydia PostPil") to women in Ghana. Check out the website for details.

Costs[edit]

In 2014, the average cost of EC ranged from 4 to 19 Cedis ($1.20 - $5.78).

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs/STDs)[edit]

Important Notes - Learn about PEP and PrEP: If you think that you've been recently exposed to HIV (i.e. within 72 hours), seek out PEP (Post-Exposure Prophylaxis). It's a month-long treatment to prevent HIV infection after exposure, and it may be available in your city. Take PEP as soon as possible. For more information, click here. If you are at risk of HIV exposure, seek out PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis). It's a daily oral pill that can prevent HIV infection before exposure. To learn more about PrEP, click here.

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

There are no travel restrictions related to STD/STI status in Ghana.[6]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

Testing Facilities[edit]

To see a full list of Ghanaian hospitals and clinics that provide STI testing (and are LGBT-friendly and sex worker-friendly), click here.

  • Korle Bu Teaching Hospital: This hospital, founded in 1923, is considered to be one of the best (if not the best) hospital in Ghana. Provides counseling and anti-retroviral drugs. They may also do testing but this isn't clear (you should call to confirm). They work with many patients, including MSM (men who have sex with men), FSW (female sex workers) and PLIV (people living with HIV). Address: Guggisberg Ave, Accra, Ghana. Phone: +233 30 267 4072.
  • Tema Women's Hospital: Provides counseling and anti-retroviral drugs. They may also do testing but this isn't clear (you should call to confirm). They work with many patients, including MSM (men who have sex with men), FSW (female sex workers) and PLIV (people living with HIV). Address: community eleven, Hospital Rd, Tema, Ghana. Phone:+233 24 510 1622.
  • Adabraka STI Clinic: We can't find the website but here is an article that talks about the clinic. They are supposed to provide STI tests and counseling and access to antiretroviral drugs. They work with many people, including MSM, FSW and PLIV.
  • Ridge Regional Hospital: Provides counseling and anti-retroviral drugs. They may also do testing but this isn't clear (you should call to confirm). They work with many patients, including MSM (men who have sex with men), FSW (female sex workers) and PLIV (people living with HIV).
  • Kokomlemle: 0302-241514/0544-330686
  • Ashaiman: near traffic light Papaye bldg 0303-307136/0544-330687
  • Tema New Town: behind Police Station 0303-205343/0544-330689

Support[edit]

  • Korle Bu Hospital: Fevers Unit, Accra, Phone +233 21 674 061-7, ext. 6328, 5328.
  • GTZ (German Development Cooperation) - Regional AIDS Programme. P.O. Box 9698. K.I.A., Accra. E-mail: gtzrap@ghana.com.
  • National AIDS Control Programme (Govt.) School of Hygiene - Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital: P.O. Box 2848, Accra. Phone: +233 21 662 691
  • Ghana AIDS Commission (Govt.): P.O. Box CT 5169, Cantonments Accra. Phone: +233 21 782 262 / 782 263. Fax: +233 21 782 264. Web: www.ghanaids-gov.gh. E-mail: ghanaids@ghana.com.
  • AIDS Alert - Ghana (NGO): P.O. Box C 229. Cantonments Accra. Phone: +233 21 772 827.

Costs[edit]

Medications & Vaccines[edit]

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • Ghana has an HPV vaccination pilot program, as of July 2017, but no official nationwide program has been introduced yet.[7]
  • Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) is available in Ghana, and the country is particularly interested in ensuring access to PEP for health care workers and rape survivors.[8]
  • There are no known Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) programs in Ghana, as of February 2018.[9]

Costs[edit]

Menstruation[edit]

Note: In addition to pads and tampons, you can also use menstrual cups and menstrual underwear for your period. To learn more about menstrual cups, click here. To learn more about menstrual underwear, click here.

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • Pads and pantyliners are widely available in Ghana.
  • Tampons are available in supermarkets or pharmacies, particularly in city.
  • Regarding menstrual cups, there are some local sellers, such as Princess D Menstrual Cup - Ghana. You may also be able to buy the Luv Ur Body Menstrual Cup online through the Wopeden website, a Ghanaian e-commerce company. Also, Alliance for African Women Initiative (AFAWI) has partnered with Ruby Cup to bring over 200 menstrual cups to adolescent girls in the Greater Accra region. However, there are no known sellers of DivaCup, MoonCup, LadyCup or Lunette in Ghana, so those brands should be purchased online.

Costs[edit]

Gynecological Exams[edit]

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • Tema Women's Hospital: This hospital is in Tema, which is 25 km from Accra. "The Tema Women’s Hospital was established in April 1996 under the visionary leadership of Dr Paul Owusu Baah, with the aim of providing health care with dignity. The hospital provides services in obstetrics and gynaecology as well as general clinic for both in patient and out patient in a relaxed, caring and supportive environment."
  • Korle Bu Teaching Hospital: This hospital, founded in 1923, is considered to be one of the best (if not the best) hospital in Ghana.

Costs[edit]

Pregnancy[edit]

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • Divine Mother and Child Foundation: This NGO is in Ghana (but not in Accra). "Divine Mother and Child Foundation(DMAC FOUNDATION) is a not for profit Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) to identify, address and prevent complications that arise during pregnancy, labor and postpartum periods and ultimately decrease maternal and infant mortality rates in Ghana." Tel: 0342197398. Mob:0249396497. info@dmacfoundation.org. inquiry@dmacfoundation.org.
  • Lister Hospital and Fertility Centre: "Lister Hospital and Fertility Centre is the most technologically advanced private hospital in West Africa. It offers modern and advanced medical facilities for both in and outpatients, comfortable accommodation and a highly trained staff who provide extensive general and specialist healthcare and diagnostic services."

Costs[edit]

Abortion[edit]

Important Note: There are two main types of abortions: medical (also known as the "abortion pill") and surgical (also known as "in-clinic"). For medical abortions, you take a pill to induce abortion. For surgical abortions, a procedure is performed to induce abortion. For general information about medical and surgical abortions, click here.

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

In Ghana, abortion is permitted under certain circumstances, which include: cases of rape, incest, "defilement of a female idiot," if the woman's life or health is endangered by the pregnancy, or if there is risk of fetal abnormality. In all other cases, abortion is illegal. The guidelines for a safe abortion were established by the Ghana Health Service and the Ministry of Health.[10]

Important Note: According to a 2010 report, "Maternal mortality is the second most common cause of death among women in Ghana, and more than one in 10 maternal deaths (11%) are the result of unsafe induced abortions.1 In addition, a substantial proportion of women who survive an unsafe abortion experience complications from the procedure. This suffering is all the more tragic because it is unnecessary: Many women likely turn to unsafe providers or do not obtain adequate postabortion care when it is needed because they are unaware that abortion is legal on fairly broad grounds in Ghana."[11]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • Marie Stopes International Ghana: They should be able to help you or direct you to appropriate services. Address: No. 36 Akwei St, Tesano-Accra, Accra, Ghana. Call +233302 20 85 85, 0800-2 85 85.
  • Some hospitals to check out: La General Hospital, Korle Bu Teaching Hospital Reproductive Health Center, Dansoman Polyclinic (Family Planning Unit), Achimota Hospital (Family Planning Unit), Ridge Hospital (Family Planning Unit), Mamprobi Polyclinic (Family Planning Unit).

Costs[edit]

Advocacy & Counseling[edit]

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

Costs[edit]

List of Additional Resources[edit]

  • Equaldex - Ghana: This online resource provides information on LGBTQ status and rights in Ghana. It is important to note that homosexuality is illegal in Ghana, as of February 2018.
  • African Women's Development Fund: "The African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF) is a grantmaking foundation that supports local, national and regional women’s organisations working towards the empowerment of African women and the promotion and realisation of their rights." Based in Accra, Ghana. Call +233 28 966 9666. Email: awdf@awdf.org
  • Oasis for Safety: "Oasis for Safety (OFS) is non-profit, non-governmental organization registered in Ghana. West Africa & the UK. Public benefit is central to the work of OFS. The desire is to do the best for all beneficiaries. The Foundation has a dual mission to improve the birthing experience for women in Ghana and to effect a reduction in maternal mortality; and also to address domestic violence issues in partnership with contributors and sponsors. A lot of the activities of OFS impacts on public health. We have no political objectives."
  • Womankind - Ghana: "Our partners - local or national women’s rights organisations - provide direct support for women and girls, from a safe place to escape violence or information about their rights to leadership training or funding to start their own business. They also work to change laws and policies which discriminate against women and girls, and challenge the damaging attitudes and stereotypes at the root of inequality."
  • The Gender Studies and Human Rights Documentation Centre (Gender Centre): "The Gender Centre is committed to promoting and protecting the human rights of women. It works with both women’s groups and other organisations providing support and training in areas such as implementing women's rights, project planning and campaigning."
  • Women in Law and Development in Africa, Ghana (WiLDAF-Ghana): "WiLDAF-Ghana is one of the members of a strong pan-African organisation, bringing together different organisations to promote a culture of respect for women’s rights in Africa. WiLDAF was established in 1991 with the aim of empowering women by promoting their rights and ensuring their active participation in their communities."

References[edit]

  1. Abortion in Ghana
  2. DKT International - Ghana
  3. EC Status and Availability: Ghana
  4. Princeton EC Website
  5. Princeton EC Website
  6. GHANA - REGULATIONS ON ENTRY, STAY AND RESIDENCE FOR PLHIV
  7. Human Papillomavirus and Related Diseases Report - GHANA, July 2017
  8. GUIDELINES FOR ANTIRETROVIRAL THERAPY IN GHANA - National HIV/AIDS/ STI Control Programme
  9. PrEPWatch World Map
  10. Abortion in Ghana
  11. Abortion in Ghana