Prof. Sai Honoured For Promoting Reproductive Health

The population, reproductive health and family planning fraternity from across the world gathered at the Movenpick Ambassador Hotel in Accra on June 27, 2014 to celebrate the life and achievements of Professor Fredrick Torgbor Sai, on his 90th birthday. The dinner was attended by representatives of non-governmental organisations, government officials, chiefs and queens. Prof. Sai was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the African Federation for Sexual Health and Rights. He has dedicated most of his life to the well-being of children and women across the globe by championing the cause of making reproductive health information and service accessible to couples and individuals. As a world renowned expert in the field of population, reproductive health, HIV and AIDS and gender equality, Prof Sai, among others, was the first to head the National Population Council. He chaired the principal committee of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo (ICPD), Egypt. “A prominent son” In a speech read on his behalf, President John Dramani Mahama commended Prof. Sai for his dedicated services to Ghana. He described him as “a prominent son of our land, with many accolades to his name nationally and internationally.” “Prof. Sai’s life is a testimony of how one’s determination and hard work can contribute to a better quality of life for the people, especially the vulnerable and voiceless in the society,” he said. Prof. Sai had a dream A former President of the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, Dr Mahmoud Fathalla, said Prof. Sai had a dream of a world where a woman was not denied her right to health and life. He said although the dream was yet to be fulfilled, some progress had been made, adding that more work needed to be done. Prof. Sai Annual Lectures The Director-General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr Ebenezer Appiah Denkyira, announced that the GHS, in collaboration with other non-governmental organisations, would institute the Prof. Sai Annual Lectures, in recognition of his contribution to reproductive health globally. The lectures will be held during the Family Planning Week celebration, which falls on September 26. Empower women In his address, Prof. Sai expressed gratitude to the non-governmental organisations and government agencies for organising the event in his honour. He said empowering women, educating the girl-child and ensuring that women had control over their reproductive choices were the right things to do for women to take their rightful place in socio-economic development. “Indeed, if all women had access to family planning and reproductive health services, we could prevent 79,000 maternal deaths and more than one million infant deaths each year because family planning leads to lower birth rates and saves money,” he said.