COVID-19 pandemic cuts access to sexual and reproductive healthcare for women around the world

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a major impact on the delivery of sexual and reproductive healthcare around the world, according to a survey of its national members conducted by the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF).

5,633 static and mobile clinics and community-based care outlets have already closed because of the outbreak, across 64 countries. They make up 14 % of the total service delivery points IPPF members ran in 2018.

For static clinics – which provided 114 million services to clients in 2018 – the figure is even worse. More than one in five has already closed – 546 in total.

The survey is the largest global set of data available so far on how organizations delivering sexual and reproductive healthcare have been hit by COVID-19. It found:

  • IPPF’s South Asia region has seen the largest number of closures overall, with more than 1,872 clinics and other service outlets closed
  • The Africa region has seen the largest number of mobile clinics closed, with 447 shut
  • 971 mobile clinics and community-based care outlets in the Federation’s Western Hemisphere region have been shut down by the pandemic
  • IPPF’s Europe region has seen 208 static clinics close
  • The East and South East Asia and Oceania region has seen 334 mobile clinics close
  • IPPF’s Arab World region has seen 56 static clinics close.

Countries particularly affected by closures include Pakistan, El Salvador, Zambia, Sudan, Colombia, Malaysia, Uganda, Ghana, Germany, Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka. All have reported more than 100 closures of clinics and/or community-based service outlets.