I’m pleased to be writing to you fresh off the heels of the International Maternal and Newborn Health Conference (IMNHC) and Stronger Together, an energizing side event we hosted that brought together the maternal health and family planning communities. Every day, 800 women die in childbirth, and we know access to contraception has a critical role to play in preventing maternal deaths. It’s never been more critical for the maternal and newborn health and family planning sectors to work together to integrate these streams of care. I am so inspired by the conversations we had that evening, that we will carry forward.
IMNHC was perfectly timed ahead of Mother’s Day on May 14th. I’m sure many moms were delighted to wake up to breakfast in bed and handmade cards from their children. As many of you know, in 2019 White Ribbon Alliance led the “What Women Want” campaign to hear what women really want from their healthcare. You can see many of the answers here. The top thing women said they wanted might surprise you: it was simply dignity and respect. CEO Kristy Kade and I reflect on this in a blog we published that day.
We’re proud to say White Ribbon Alliance recently made an FP2030 commitment, and as part of that commitment they’re setting out to hear from even more women – particularly those who are marginalized or overlooked by healthcare systems – about what they want from their healthcare.
It’s our job to make sure we listen.
Success won’t just be measured in the number of maternal and newborn deaths averted, but in the number of people who get to live the life of their choosing because they could plan and space their pregnancies. Stay tuned as we continue to share events and opportunities for these diverse communities to come together.
In addition to these opportunities, we’re also rolling out a blog series on integrating family planning into universal health coverage (see more below), and we’re gearing up for the first regional focal point workshops under our new hub structure this summer. We’re excited to see many of you in Togo and Uganda!
Dr. Samukeliso Dube
Spotlight: Family Planning in Universal Health Coverage
The promise of universal health coverage is as inspirational as it is aspirational: according to the WHO, it means that “all people have access to the full range of quality health services they need, when and where they need them, without financial hardship.” In other words, UHC should “leave no one behind.” The global community has set out to achieve this promise by 2030, and nearly all countries have signed on to fulfill it. But according to latest estimates, 30% of the world still cannot access essential health services, meaning more than two billion people are currently being left behind. This ongoing blog series examines how family planning contributes to the achievement of UHC, with perspectives from leading organizations in the field. Check out the most recent piece here, and browse more below.
Ensuring Equitable Access to Family Planning in India’s Healthcare System
Family planning is a powerful tool for fulfilling people’s reproductive health and fertility needs and has rightly been at the heart of political and programmatic interventions in India. However, India’s family planning program, despite its numerous successes, has had to contend with misconceptions, lack of information around contraceptives, and a continuing gap in public perception on the importance and need for family planning. This piece charts a way forward.
How Enhanced Engagement with the Private Sector Can Expend Access to Family Planning and Bring the World Closer to Universal Health Coverage
With 218 million girls and women in low- and middle-income countries who want to avoid pregnancy but are not using a modern method of contraception, we will not meet our family planning goals without new, innovative approaches to delivering or facilitating care. One approach – hardly new, yet often overlooked – is proactive, intentional engagement with the private sector: an under-tapped resource in the family planning movement. Learn more.
Finding the Nexus Between Family Planning and Universal Health Coverage
The inclusion of family planning services in a country’s UHC policy presents one of the biggest returns on investment in attaining sustainable UHC. According to UNFPA, every dollar invested in family planning generates $8.40 in economic gains, but we haven’t yet cracked the formula that ensures we “leave no one behind.” What should we do differently?
FP2030 is seeking an experienced consultant with gender expertise based in the North, West, and Central Africa region to conduct a regional gender assessment and mapping. The consultant will work in collaboration with the FP2030 senior gender advisor. Learn more on the FP2030 careers page.
In Other News
What’s new with the HIPs? Sign up to find out!
Many FP2030 newsletter readers know we often highlight news and resources from High Impact Practices (HIPs) in Family Planning. Sign up for the HIPs newsletter to stay up to date on all the latest news, resources, and information from HIPs, and don’t miss the latest edition.
HIPs recently published an updated brief on “Leading and Managing: for rights-based family planning programs.” This HIP brief highlights 8 practices for effective leadership and management that organizations can adopt to improve their programs. For more information on HIPs, see www.fphighimpactpractices.org.
Breakthrough RESEARCH’s Empathways includes a card activity, which helped health care workers in Kenya and Liberia provide more compassionate contraceptive care. This flexible tool has since been used to support improved, youth-centered health care across the globe.
USAID’s MOMENTUM Project developed a brief on “Assessment Findings for Improving the Participation of Family Planning Private Sector Providers in Health Care Provider Networks in the Provinces of Antique and Guimaras, Philippines.” This technical report will help improve private health provider participation in family planning service delivery. This report offers lessons learned for global audiences considering health financing mechanisms similar to the healthcare provider networks found in the Philippines.
The Challenge Initiative’s Francophone West Africa Hub’s new article on Increasing Contraceptive Use Through Free Family Planning Special Days in Poor Urban Areas in Francophone West Africa describes the process of implementing free family planning special days (FPSDs) in Francophone West African (FWA) countries and analyzes the results. These FPSDs worked to educate and mobilize the community around FP and improved access to essential FP services.
ICYMI: Season five of Knowledge Success’ podcast exploring the details of family planning programming is focused on the “Intersectionality in Family Planning.”
FP & UHC Cross- Regional Exchange and Learning Series
FP2030 & Knowledge SUCCESS
May 30, 8 a.m. ET