The negative impact of COVID‐19 on contraception and sexual and reproductive health: Could immediate postpartum LARCs be the solution?

Toddler getting a vaccination by a pediatrician

The COVID‐19 pandemic has taken much of the world by surprise. With over 4 700 000 infections to date across 188 countries and more than 310 000 deaths worldwide over the course of just 5 months, we were remarkably unprepared. Although the focus has rightly been on the provision of adequate health care for those falling ill from the virus and the search for a cure or vaccine, we must be aware that looming in the background are the usual health issues that millions of people face every day, and that these will not go away during the pandemic.

Worse than this is the realization that not only will those health issues not go away, but they will likely be compounded by the lack of attention we are giving them: routine childhood illnesses requiring immunization for prevention; the treatment and prevention of malaria; malnutrition; HIV; TB; chronic diseases; and maternal morbidity and mortality to name but a few. The question is what, if anything, can we do to ensure that the legacy of this disease is only its direct deaths rather than all the other additional deaths associated with the increased burden on our health systems.