Kenya: IPPF honours African reproductive health activist

Nairobi, Kenya (PANA) - The Africa Regional office of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) has honoured one of the continent's pioneering reproductive health and family planning advocates, Prof. Frederick Torgbor Sai, by naming a research institute after him.

“The institute is an exclusive initiative of IPPF Africa region, as a response to filling the gap in data gathering and dissemination. For us it is a tool to strengthen our programmes,” IPPF African Regional Director Lucien Kouakoa said at the colourful launch and award ceremony in honour of the Octogenarian Ghanaian health expert here.

Kouakoa said the Institute would focus on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), support research, strengthen IPPF collaboration and generate ideas beyond the 42 countries where the Federation operates in Africa.

In addition, the Institute, the location of which is yet to be announced, will motivate young men and women to be advocates, programme managers and researchers in reproductive health, and
provide grants to graduates to embark on evidence-based research.

At the ceremony, representatives of the Reproductive Health Community from Africa and beyond took their turns to attest to Prof. Sai's contributions to SRHR, Family Planning and women empowerment that spanned over five decades.

They include IPPF, Planned Parenthood Association Ghana, the Bill and Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health, IPAS, Education and Child Trust Family Planning Association of Stri Lanka and Women Deliver.

Prof. Sai is a renowned player and leading advocates for the promotion of women and children reproductive health care services in his country, Ghana.

He chaired several international meetings that produced frameworks and guidelines for the implantation of development agenda issue, like the Cairo International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in 1994.

“My interest to get involved in Reproductive Health and Family Planning started back at home in Ghana and as a student in London. I remember a woman who had to commit suicide because she got pregnant and one who got rid of her pregnancy, but without going through a harrowing experience.

“All  of these scenarios got to my mind and I became worried. So when I return after my studies, I felt a compelling need to start something for women,” Prof Sai said in a video documentary shown at the occasion.

He expressed gratitude for the honour done to him by the Africa Region of IPPF, and also expressed the belief that the Institute would continue to provide a platform for spreading the reproductive health agenda.

Born in Ghana, Prof. Sai pioneered the establishment of the Planned Parenthood Association Ghana, an associate member of IPPF.

He was also the first African President of the International Non-Governmental Organisation,
which operates in more than 150 countries worldwide and 42 countries in Africa.

His contributions have also been acknowledged at the global level with the United Nations Population Award, IPPF lifetime Achievements Award and back at home with the Order of Star of Ghana.
-0- PANA SB/SEG 26Nov2014

26 november 2014 14:57:46

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