Early Years & Family

Prof. Frederick Torgbor Sai, born on 27th June 1924 is a family health physician who co-founded the Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG) in 1967.

A gender and reproductive health advocate, he is known for his campaigns and education drawing attention to the food and nutrition problems of Africa, particularly of women and children.  He is a product of the Osu Presbyterian Senior Boys School (Salem), Achimota College and University of London and Harvard University.

Married to Florence and together, they have raised 6 children. Prof Said loves to give lectures, plays golf, loves highlife and jazz music, spending time with friends and family.

Working Years

He served as the Director of Medical Services and Professor of Community Health at the University of Ghana, Legon.

He was also a nutrition advisor to the Food and Agriculture Organisation, Africa Region as well as the coordinator for the World Hunger Programme of the United Nations University and a Senior Population Advisor to the World Bank. He was the President and Honorary Secretary of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences. Prof Sai became the first head of the National Population Council, first African President of the International Planned Parenthood Federation of Ghana (IPPF) and was instrumental in setting up the Africa Regional Office of IPPF as well as the Centre for African Family Studies (CAFS) in Nairobi.

He was named the Godfather of family planning in 2012 by the prestigious medical journal, The Lancet. In his fifty-year career, Prof Sai advocated for family planning policies in Ghana leading to the provision of subsidized family planning services to public hospitals by the government in 2007 under the Free Maternal Health Policy.  Known in the global community as a champion of women’s sexual and reproductive health, he also an authority on health, nutrition and population. 

He believes that, any young girl or woman who wants an abortion should be allowed to have one in a safe medical environment. 

Prof Sai held the Chairmanship for Main Committees of the last two major UN conferences on population and development: 1984 International Conference on Population in Mexico City and the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo.


Professor F. T. Sai is a recipient of several awards including:

  • The United Nations Population Award in 1993 for his work in population, reproductive health and nutrition, the 1995
  • Prince Mahidol Award in “recognition of his long-standing involvement and global leadership on international family planning and population issues”,
  • Honorary Doctorates from Tufts University and University of Ghana, Honorary Fellowship of the American  College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Royal College of Obstetricians and
  • The Harvard School of Public Health Alumni Award of Merit for his contributions to the field of public health.

In 2006, Professor F. T. Sai was awarded one of Ghana’s highest national honours, Order of the Star of Ghana – Member of the Star of Ghana (MSG) civil division.


He has some publications to his credit and these include “Adam and Eve and the Serpent”, dealing with the inequalities and the difficulties faced by African women; and “Fred Sai Speaks Out” which is a collection of essays on his views of the reproductive health field which includes a letter to Pope John Paul II asking for a reconsideration of the Vatican’s anti-contraception and family planning stance. He published his memoirs, With Heart and Voice: Fred Sai Remembers in 2010