Yesterday, I participated in a webinar with Breakthrough ACTION, the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition, and the YP Foundation of India to discuss how we can (and are) keeping the momentum going for family planning during the pandemic. Over 500 people participated, and many shared their experiences over the course of the webinar, including frustration and fear about losing progress, lack of access to services and supplies, and lack of contraceptive choice for women and girls around the world. Our task now is to protect access to family planning services and provide the care we can.
In our conversation, and in meetings with colleagues from around the world, I am inspired and reassured when I hear about the ways our community has been mobilizing to do just that – and sharing our experiences so we can learn from one another. Here are just some of the activities our community has done this week:
- The YP Foundation is creating discussion groups for adolescents on low-data platforms so that they can reach rural youth with SRH information.
- Advocates in Zambia are working to move adequate contraceptive supplies to last three months to the most rural health centers before isolation orders are in place so that people can continue to have access.
- The Anglican Archbishop of Uganda, a board member of the Faith for Family Health Initiative, on Sunday preached from his pulpit at All Saints Cathedral in Kampala that access to contraception must be maintained during the pandemic.
In its new guidance on protecting human rights under the COVID-19 response, the World Health Organization has specifically noted that restrictions that prevent women and girls from seeking reproductive health care violate their human rights. We couldn’t agree more. Around the world, partners are working to dismantle these restrictions, which is why FP2020 created our COVID-19 resource page and social media campaign: so that we can share tools and report on what’s happening in our communities, as well as what has worked and what hasn’t.
The more that we are connected, the more we can help one another in our shared mission to ensure that women and girls continue to have access to family planning. Visit www.familyplanning2020.org/COVID-19 or use the hashtag #FPinCOVIDresponse on social media.
JOIN THE CAMPAIGN: #FPinCOVIDresponse
WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO PROTECT FAMILY PLANNING IN COVID-19 RESPONSE? JOIN THE VIDEO CAMPAIGN.
Join the worldwide video campaign to protect #FPinCOVIDresponse: Take a video of yourself telling us what’s happening in your community, and how you’re working to ensure women and girls can still exercise control over their own reproductive health – even in this crisis. Share your video on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook, with the hashtag #FPinCOVIDresponse. Can’t record a video? You can still tweet your support with #FPinCOVIDresponse! Check out the social media toolkit.
Yidnek is currently a medical intern and serving as an FP2020 Focal Point in Ethiopia. He’s currently concerned about a potentially significant increase in gender-based violence during the pandemic. Hear his story.
Dr. Natasha Kaoma is the Chief Executive Officer of Copper Rose Zambia, a medical doctor, and an FP2020 Reference Group member. She’s now watching as medical staff are pulled from family planning work and into COVID-19 response. Hear her story.
Manasa Priya Vasudevan, Program Manager at the YP Foundation and FP2020 Reference Group member, is concerned about how the lack of young women’s privacy as they are quarantined in their family homes will impact their access to family planning and reproductive health. Hear her story.
NEW GUIDANCE ISSUED FROM KENYAN MINISTRY OF HEALTH
The Kenyan MOH has released a practical guide for the continuation of reproductive, maternal, newborn, and family planning services in the country during the COVID-19 pandemic. The guide focuses on preventative and clinical recommendations for care during this crisis. Other countries can tailor their own guides to existing country priorities, focusing on protecting frontline healthcare workers while still serving key populations, and ensuring continued access to reproductive healthcare in this crisis.
Avenir Health: COVID-19 Tracker
Interested in tracking COVID-19? Use Avenir Health’s COVID-19 tool to quickly see the evolution of cases and deaths in the US by state and county, or globally by country. You can select one state or country, or several at a time to compare or see a more regional view.
PAI: Mitigating COVID-19 Impacts on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in Low- and Middle-income Countries: A Civil Society Call to Action
To ensure the failures of past global health crises are not repeated, civil society must advocate for the prioritization of sexual and reproductive health and rights in government responses to COVID-19, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.
Securing supplies in insecure times: Ensuring contraceptive security under COVID
Marie Stopes International and FP2020
April 29, 10 am ET
Creating a Supportive Policy Environment for Family Planning Financing
Online Discussion: Impact of Social Norms on Family Planning Use in Francophone Africa