- - -
Camilo Jimenez

Media center

Latest news from across the federation and our partners

Latest press releases

A selection of stories from across the Federation

IPPF_Tommy Trenchard_Botswana

United States

Media center

U.S Supreme court overturns Roe v. Wade in biggest blow to women's health and rights in recent history

26 June 2022

Nairobi – 25 June 2022 – The decision by the US Supreme Court to overturn the landmark Roe V Wade on abortion will trigger total or near total bans on abortion care in approximately 26 states across
Namibia
media center

| 28 July 2022

Abortion hearings: What’s going on in Namibia?

Namibia is under the spotlight this month as it resumes public hearings on abortion on 16 January. This follows the hearings which took place late last year, and will hopefully play an important role in the liberalization of abortion laws in the country.  The current laws regulating abortion are no longer fit for purpose – not least because the Abortion and Sterilisation Act of 1975 was adopted under apartheid South African rule and has since been repealed in South Africa. The Act currently permits abortion only in very limited circumstances, and imposes criminal penalties on women who obtain and those who perform abortions outside of this limited scope. Those who can afford it are forced to travel to South Africa for abortion care, but this option is out of reach for many women. The law, therefore, impacts far more heavily on poor and black women, perpetuating the cycle of poverty and reinforcing injustices.  In 2020, 62,000 Namibians signed a petition calling for the liberalization of abortion laws, so there is certainly public backing for progress. The upcoming hearings are a key opportunity to make positive changes in the lives of all women, regardless of religious beliefs, age, race, and socioeconomic status.

Namibia
media_center

| 14 January 2022

Abortion hearings: What’s going on in Namibia?

Namibia is under the spotlight this month as it resumes public hearings on abortion on 16 January. This follows the hearings which took place late last year, and will hopefully play an important role in the liberalization of abortion laws in the country.  The current laws regulating abortion are no longer fit for purpose – not least because the Abortion and Sterilisation Act of 1975 was adopted under apartheid South African rule and has since been repealed in South Africa. The Act currently permits abortion only in very limited circumstances, and imposes criminal penalties on women who obtain and those who perform abortions outside of this limited scope. Those who can afford it are forced to travel to South Africa for abortion care, but this option is out of reach for many women. The law, therefore, impacts far more heavily on poor and black women, perpetuating the cycle of poverty and reinforcing injustices.  In 2020, 62,000 Namibians signed a petition calling for the liberalization of abortion laws, so there is certainly public backing for progress. The upcoming hearings are a key opportunity to make positive changes in the lives of all women, regardless of religious beliefs, age, race, and socioeconomic status.

LGBTI person
media center

| 28 July 2022

Namibia: High Court rules against same-sex couples fighting for recognition of their marriages

The IPPF Africa region is concerned by the Namibian High Court ruling on the application of non-Namibian same-sex spouses to live and work in the country. It is the latest legal battle to push for equal rights in the country. According to the High Court’s judge, Hannelie Prinsloo, the legal decision was based on an outdated law preventing the LGBTI+ community from enjoying equal human rights across the country. IPPFAR strongly encourages African Governments to review and adapt outdated laws to reflect today’s societal realities ensuring the full enjoyment of human rights for all.

LGBTI person
media_center

| 21 January 2022

Namibia: High Court rules against same-sex couples fighting for recognition of their marriages

The IPPF Africa region is concerned by the Namibian High Court ruling on the application of non-Namibian same-sex spouses to live and work in the country. It is the latest legal battle to push for equal rights in the country. According to the High Court’s judge, Hannelie Prinsloo, the legal decision was based on an outdated law preventing the LGBTI+ community from enjoying equal human rights across the country. IPPFAR strongly encourages African Governments to review and adapt outdated laws to reflect today’s societal realities ensuring the full enjoyment of human rights for all.

angola flag
media center

| 28 July 2022

Angola Decriminalizes Same-Sex Relations

The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) welcomes the news of Angola decriminalizing same sex relationships.  IPPF recognizes and congratulates activists, advocates and organizations that helped make this historic change in the law possible. On Thursday 10 February, Angola’s new penal code came into force, which decriminalized same-sex relations. It also introduces sexual orientation protections into some of Angola’s non-discrimination clauses and mentions sexual orientation in the hate speech clauses of the penal code. Angolans of all sexual orientations can finally live more freely and enjoy the same constitutional right to love and bodily autonomy. These changes are the first rewriting of colonial-era laws since Angola gained independence in 1975, which removed colonial-era clauses that have been in effect since the penal code introduced a ban in 1886. IPPF Africa Regional Office Director Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry stated: “The news coming from Angola breathes new life and gives renewed hope not only for the LGBTI community in Angola but Africa as a whole. The colonial-era anti-LGBTI laws have been a stain on our collective conscience, and this ruling marks a new era of inclusivity, hope and love. No one should be treated as a criminal for choosing who to love, and we hope this change in the law inspires other countries that have a similar colonial hangover to review their own laws.” The first step to change the penal code was announced in 2019, when the Parliament approved the proposed changes. However, only in November 2020 was it signed by President João Lourenço, with a 90 days delay until it came into force last week. The new penal code overturned the language of “vice against nature”, which was understood as a ban on same-sex relations. The new law includes several articles protecting against discrimination based on sexual orientation, in relation to work or at public places and events, and includes imprisonment of up to two years for discrimination based on sexual orientation. After the decriminalization in Angola, the number of countries where homosexuality is decriminalized is now 72. This is a solid foundation for the work that lies ahead to enable a world where all people can make decisions about their sexuality and well-being free of discrimination, a fight that IPPF will be active in. Read this statement in Portuguese.

angola flag
media_center

| 19 February 2021

Angola Decriminalizes Same-Sex Relations

The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) welcomes the news of Angola decriminalizing same sex relationships.  IPPF recognizes and congratulates activists, advocates and organizations that helped make this historic change in the law possible. On Thursday 10 February, Angola’s new penal code came into force, which decriminalized same-sex relations. It also introduces sexual orientation protections into some of Angola’s non-discrimination clauses and mentions sexual orientation in the hate speech clauses of the penal code. Angolans of all sexual orientations can finally live more freely and enjoy the same constitutional right to love and bodily autonomy. These changes are the first rewriting of colonial-era laws since Angola gained independence in 1975, which removed colonial-era clauses that have been in effect since the penal code introduced a ban in 1886. IPPF Africa Regional Office Director Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry stated: “The news coming from Angola breathes new life and gives renewed hope not only for the LGBTI community in Angola but Africa as a whole. The colonial-era anti-LGBTI laws have been a stain on our collective conscience, and this ruling marks a new era of inclusivity, hope and love. No one should be treated as a criminal for choosing who to love, and we hope this change in the law inspires other countries that have a similar colonial hangover to review their own laws.” The first step to change the penal code was announced in 2019, when the Parliament approved the proposed changes. However, only in November 2020 was it signed by President João Lourenço, with a 90 days delay until it came into force last week. The new penal code overturned the language of “vice against nature”, which was understood as a ban on same-sex relations. The new law includes several articles protecting against discrimination based on sexual orientation, in relation to work or at public places and events, and includes imprisonment of up to two years for discrimination based on sexual orientation. After the decriminalization in Angola, the number of countries where homosexuality is decriminalized is now 72. This is a solid foundation for the work that lies ahead to enable a world where all people can make decisions about their sexuality and well-being free of discrimination, a fight that IPPF will be active in. Read this statement in Portuguese.

Couple_Togo_contraception _ family planning_IPPF_Xaume Olleros.jpeg
media center

| 28 July 2022

PPFAR Statement on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) day

12 December 2020. Today, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) Africa Region joins the rest of the world in celebrating the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) day. The goal of UHC is to ensure that all people have access to high-quality health services without suffering financial hardship. A critical step to achieving this goal is the full realization of people’s access to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and more so, among women and girls. Owing to their unique needs and vulnerabilities, the success of UHC cannot be fully achieved until all women and girls can access the sexual reproductive health services they need. Each day, more than 800 women die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. According to the World Health Organization, 94% of all maternal deaths occur in low and lower middle-income countries. 218 million women in these countries have an unmet need for modern contraception according to the Guttmacher Institute, which also states that 35 million women have abortions in unsafe conditions. A further 133 million do not receive the treatment they need for chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis and trichomoniasis. Cervical cancer, which is the fourth most common cancer among women globally is also a great challenge, with nearly 90% of the 311,000 deaths worldwide in 2018 occurring in these countries. These figures highlight the profound need to invest more in SRHR. Lack of high-quality sexual and reproductive health care undoubtedly puts women at risk for negative reproductive health outcomes. Weak health outcomes are strongly interrelated with gender inequalities, discrimination, violence and lack of SRHR information and services. It is therefore paramount that SRHR is integrated into UHC to protect gains and accelerate progress towards various goals, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The integration of SRHR into UHC requires addressing the multiple legal and sociocultural barriers that limit access to services and prevent women and girls from fulfilling their right to health. While governments are responsible for determining their own path towards UHC, this must be done in an accordance with agreed human rights treaties and commitments, including respecting and promoting SRHR. IPPF Africa Region is committed to addressing the challenges that impede the achievement of UHC, with particular focus on those pertaining to SRHR. On this day, we implore all African governments, donors and partners to call for greater investment in SRHR, and ensure that a comprehensive package of SRHR interventions is a fundamental part of national UHC policies, strategies and programmes. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Media Contacts: Maryanne Wanyama, Communications Officer, IPPFARO, Nairobi (Kenya) - Email: [email protected]

Couple_Togo_contraception _ family planning_IPPF_Xaume Olleros.jpeg
media_center

| 12 December 2020

PPFAR Statement on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) day

12 December 2020. Today, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) Africa Region joins the rest of the world in celebrating the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) day. The goal of UHC is to ensure that all people have access to high-quality health services without suffering financial hardship. A critical step to achieving this goal is the full realization of people’s access to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and more so, among women and girls. Owing to their unique needs and vulnerabilities, the success of UHC cannot be fully achieved until all women and girls can access the sexual reproductive health services they need. Each day, more than 800 women die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. According to the World Health Organization, 94% of all maternal deaths occur in low and lower middle-income countries. 218 million women in these countries have an unmet need for modern contraception according to the Guttmacher Institute, which also states that 35 million women have abortions in unsafe conditions. A further 133 million do not receive the treatment they need for chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis and trichomoniasis. Cervical cancer, which is the fourth most common cancer among women globally is also a great challenge, with nearly 90% of the 311,000 deaths worldwide in 2018 occurring in these countries. These figures highlight the profound need to invest more in SRHR. Lack of high-quality sexual and reproductive health care undoubtedly puts women at risk for negative reproductive health outcomes. Weak health outcomes are strongly interrelated with gender inequalities, discrimination, violence and lack of SRHR information and services. It is therefore paramount that SRHR is integrated into UHC to protect gains and accelerate progress towards various goals, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The integration of SRHR into UHC requires addressing the multiple legal and sociocultural barriers that limit access to services and prevent women and girls from fulfilling their right to health. While governments are responsible for determining their own path towards UHC, this must be done in an accordance with agreed human rights treaties and commitments, including respecting and promoting SRHR. IPPF Africa Region is committed to addressing the challenges that impede the achievement of UHC, with particular focus on those pertaining to SRHR. On this day, we implore all African governments, donors and partners to call for greater investment in SRHR, and ensure that a comprehensive package of SRHR interventions is a fundamental part of national UHC policies, strategies and programmes. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Media Contacts: Maryanne Wanyama, Communications Officer, IPPFARO, Nairobi (Kenya) - Email: [email protected]

abortion care
media center

| 28 July 2022

IPPFAR Statement on International Safe Abortion Day 2020

Nairobi, 28 September 2020. Today, International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR) joins the rest of the world in celebrating the International Safe Abortion Day under the theme: “Telemedicine, self-managed abortion and access to safe abortion in the context of COVID-19 pandemic”.  According to WHO and Guttmacher, at least 25 million unsafe abortions occurred every year between 2010 and 2014. Majority (97%) of these were in developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. This is a major public health concern in these parts of the world where restrictive abortion laws and policies are the norm, resulting in preventable maternal deaths due to rampant incidences of unsafe abortion. Yet, restricting a woman’s ability to choose to end an unwanted pregnancy is a violation of her human rights. The unprecedented COVID-19 situation has severely impacted access to safe abortion in countries where favourable policies exist. With stretched health systems, diversion of resources to the COVID-19 response, disruptions in commodity supplies (including contraceptive products) and limited access to services, women's needs for sexual and reproductive health care, including contraception and safe abortion have been greatly affected. At IPPFAR, through our Member Associations, we are innovating with new service delivery models of telemedicine and self-care approaches that address women and girls’ contraception and safe abortion needs in this era of the pandemic. For example, our IPPF MA in Togo began booking clients and providing services through a toll-free teleconsultation service, which has facilitated clients’ access to services when they face challenges travelling to clinics owing to movement restrictions. The approach has further eased client flow in clinics at this time of social distancing. Additionally, the youth friendly ‘InfoAdoJeunes’ mobile application continues to provide information and remote counselling services for young people. The extensive usage of social media and other digital platforms, for example, in Cameroon, Kenya, Guinea, Ethiopia, and Togo have been effective in disseminating information about abortion and contraception, and to advertise other services available at the clinics. As the world celebrates this day, we call on African governments to domesticate, disseminate and implement provisions of the African Union Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa. Commonly known as the Maputo Protocol, this instrument remains one of the most progressive legal instruments providing a comprehensive set of human rights for African women. We also call on other member states who have not signed nor ratified to do so. IPPFAR and its Member Associations recommit to provide safe abortion services where permissible by law. Media Contacts: -Maryanne Wanyama, IPPFARO, Nairobi (Kenya) – Email: [email protected] -Sam Ntelamo, Resident Representative, International Planned Parenthood Federation, Liaison Office to the African Union & UNECA, Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) – Phone: +251 (11) 667 0699/0761 - Mobile +251 (0) 944 73 2051- Email: [email protected]

abortion care
media_center

| 28 September 2020

IPPFAR Statement on International Safe Abortion Day 2020

Nairobi, 28 September 2020. Today, International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR) joins the rest of the world in celebrating the International Safe Abortion Day under the theme: “Telemedicine, self-managed abortion and access to safe abortion in the context of COVID-19 pandemic”.  According to WHO and Guttmacher, at least 25 million unsafe abortions occurred every year between 2010 and 2014. Majority (97%) of these were in developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. This is a major public health concern in these parts of the world where restrictive abortion laws and policies are the norm, resulting in preventable maternal deaths due to rampant incidences of unsafe abortion. Yet, restricting a woman’s ability to choose to end an unwanted pregnancy is a violation of her human rights. The unprecedented COVID-19 situation has severely impacted access to safe abortion in countries where favourable policies exist. With stretched health systems, diversion of resources to the COVID-19 response, disruptions in commodity supplies (including contraceptive products) and limited access to services, women's needs for sexual and reproductive health care, including contraception and safe abortion have been greatly affected. At IPPFAR, through our Member Associations, we are innovating with new service delivery models of telemedicine and self-care approaches that address women and girls’ contraception and safe abortion needs in this era of the pandemic. For example, our IPPF MA in Togo began booking clients and providing services through a toll-free teleconsultation service, which has facilitated clients’ access to services when they face challenges travelling to clinics owing to movement restrictions. The approach has further eased client flow in clinics at this time of social distancing. Additionally, the youth friendly ‘InfoAdoJeunes’ mobile application continues to provide information and remote counselling services for young people. The extensive usage of social media and other digital platforms, for example, in Cameroon, Kenya, Guinea, Ethiopia, and Togo have been effective in disseminating information about abortion and contraception, and to advertise other services available at the clinics. As the world celebrates this day, we call on African governments to domesticate, disseminate and implement provisions of the African Union Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa. Commonly known as the Maputo Protocol, this instrument remains one of the most progressive legal instruments providing a comprehensive set of human rights for African women. We also call on other member states who have not signed nor ratified to do so. IPPFAR and its Member Associations recommit to provide safe abortion services where permissible by law. Media Contacts: -Maryanne Wanyama, IPPFARO, Nairobi (Kenya) – Email: mwanya[email protected] -Sam Ntelamo, Resident Representative, International Planned Parenthood Federation, Liaison Office to the African Union & UNECA, Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) – Phone: +251 (11) 667 0699/0761 - Mobile +251 (0) 944 73 2051- Email: [email protected]

Mali_GGR_She Decides 2020_84448_IPPF_Xaume Olleros_Mali_IPPF_Xaume Olleros
media center

| 28 July 2022

World Population Day 2021: Increasing Effective Strategies for SRHR Information and Services (Focus on Malawi)

Sunday, 11 July 2021. As we commemorate the World Population Day with a projected 7.9 billion people on the planet today, our thoughts also turn to what were the reproductive needs and wants of women and girls in Africa during this extraordinary year and whether were they fulfilled. The COVID-19 pandemic has had devastating effects on the provision of health care services, including sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services, often more so in countries in Africa that are already struggling to keep up with normal preventative and curative services, let alone COVID-19 related morbidity and mortality. While fertility rates across the globe are shifting in both directions, and with Africa accounting for the top 23 highest total fertility rates (TFR)[1] in the world, the IPPF Women’s Integrated Sexual Health project (WISH2) provides SRH care to women, men and young people in 15 countries across the world - 12 of them being in Africa, including in fragile and conflict affected countries. The WISH2 program offers quality integrated and inclusive family planning and SRH services to marginalized and hard to reach populations: the poor, youth under 20 years and people living with disability. Within this framework, the WISH2 project recognized that many of these countries’ health services have been devastatingly affected by waves of the pandemic and adapted SRH services to ensure, wherever possible, continued access to SRH care to support women to achieve their reproductive intentions during the pandemic. In Malawi, we can focus in on young people against the backdrop of COVID-19 and a health system struggling to cope. Youth in Malawi face a myriad of challenges such as early marriages, unintended pregnancies, unsafe abortions, high new HIV infections, early childbearing, drug and alcohol abuse, high illiteracy rate, poverty, and HIV and AIDS pandemic. (NSRHR Policy 2017–2022). While young people make up the largest and fastest growing proportion of population in Malawi with 51% of the population below 18 years, access to SRH care remains low among Malawian youth with 41% of adolescent women aged 15–19 having an unmet need for modern contraception. A Family Planning training in Lilongwe, Malawi, by Family Planning Association of Malawi (FPAM). As the world celebrates population day, the Family Planning Association of Malawi (FPAM), which is IPPF's Member Association in the country, has increased effective strategies for providing access to information and SRH care to youth, including persons living with disabilities throughout the pandemic in the country. Some of these strategies include; Training of youth leaders to conduct peer learning programs and training of health care providers in Youth friendly services.  Establishing youth friendly spaces at service delivery points.   Conducting awareness creation and demand for SRH services to youth including conducting dialogue sessions, and engaging on WhatsApp and other social media platforms like Facebook.  Sensitizing parents and guardians to create an enabling environment for youth to access SRH services.  Coordinating with the Malawi Council for people with disabilities (MACOHA) - a government agency - to increase access to SRHR for persons with disabilities. Community Reproductive Health Promoters sensitization on engaging with young people with disabilities in the community.  Use of the growing mobile phone market in Malawi as a new avenue for reaching young clients by working with a local mobile service operator to promote SRHR messaging on the 3-2-1 platform (a free to use mobile subscription app). These strategies can be found in full here. “Our work complements Government efforts. Through the WISH project and other projects, FPAM has been able to reach out to young women particularly in the hard-to-reach areas with SRH information and services which otherwise could not be available if FPAM was not present in those areas”, said Donald Makwakwa, Executive Director at the Family Planning Association of Malawi. A community training activity by FPAM. In this coming year, despite reduced funding, the project will aim to continue maintaining its innovative adaptations to support access to quality SRH services and rights for women and men living in the most difficult of circumstances. Joyce Ayong, IPPF Board of Trustee member and President of the Youth Action Movement (YAM) at the Cameroon National Planning Association for Family Welfare (CAMNAFAW) highlighted the importance of youth outreach and inclusion especially in the most difficult of circumstances. “We campaign for the cause of young people so that they are taken into account. Young persons with disabilities and youth living in hard to reach areas also need to access SRH care and information and it is our duty to continue to find ways to provide these lifesaving services to them”, said Ayong. The WISH2 program will continue to find adaptive strategies ensuring that the much-needed SRH care in some of the hardest hit countries by the pandemic is delivered to the most marginalized, leaving no one behind when it comes to family planning needs. About the Women’s Integrated Sexual Health Project 2 The Women’s Integrated Sexual Health (WISH) programme offers quality integrated and inclusive family planning and sexual and reproductive health services to marginalized and hard to reach populations: the poor, youth under 20 years and people living with disability. WISH is the UK Government’s flagship programme to support integrated sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) services in a range of countries across Africa and Asia by 2021. The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) manages the WISH programme through a consortium arrangement (Lot 2) with 10 IPPF Member Associations and hand - picked partners chosen for their expertise to maximise access and reach for people in 15 countries: Development Media International (DMI), Humanity and Inclusion UK (HI), International Rescue Committee (IRC), Marie Stopes International (MSI), and Options Consultancy Services (Options). The countries are: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Burundi, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Pakistan, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe. For more updates on our work, follow IPPF Africa Region on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and You Tube.   [1] Total Fertility Rate 2021 (worldpopulationreview.com)

Mali_GGR_She Decides 2020_84448_IPPF_Xaume Olleros_Mali_IPPF_Xaume Olleros
media_center

| 11 July 2021

World Population Day 2021: Increasing Effective Strategies for SRHR Information and Services (Focus on Malawi)

Sunday, 11 July 2021. As we commemorate the World Population Day with a projected 7.9 billion people on the planet today, our thoughts also turn to what were the reproductive needs and wants of women and girls in Africa during this extraordinary year and whether were they fulfilled. The COVID-19 pandemic has had devastating effects on the provision of health care services, including sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services, often more so in countries in Africa that are already struggling to keep up with normal preventative and curative services, let alone COVID-19 related morbidity and mortality. While fertility rates across the globe are shifting in both directions, and with Africa accounting for the top 23 highest total fertility rates (TFR)[1] in the world, the IPPF Women’s Integrated Sexual Health project (WISH2) provides SRH care to women, men and young people in 15 countries across the world - 12 of them being in Africa, including in fragile and conflict affected countries. The WISH2 program offers quality integrated and inclusive family planning and SRH services to marginalized and hard to reach populations: the poor, youth under 20 years and people living with disability. Within this framework, the WISH2 project recognized that many of these countries’ health services have been devastatingly affected by waves of the pandemic and adapted SRH services to ensure, wherever possible, continued access to SRH care to support women to achieve their reproductive intentions during the pandemic. In Malawi, we can focus in on young people against the backdrop of COVID-19 and a health system struggling to cope. Youth in Malawi face a myriad of challenges such as early marriages, unintended pregnancies, unsafe abortions, high new HIV infections, early childbearing, drug and alcohol abuse, high illiteracy rate, poverty, and HIV and AIDS pandemic. (NSRHR Policy 2017–2022). While young people make up the largest and fastest growing proportion of population in Malawi with 51% of the population below 18 years, access to SRH care remains low among Malawian youth with 41% of adolescent women aged 15–19 having an unmet need for modern contraception. A Family Planning training in Lilongwe, Malawi, by Family Planning Association of Malawi (FPAM). As the world celebrates population day, the Family Planning Association of Malawi (FPAM), which is IPPF's Member Association in the country, has increased effective strategies for providing access to information and SRH care to youth, including persons living with disabilities throughout the pandemic in the country. Some of these strategies include; Training of youth leaders to conduct peer learning programs and training of health care providers in Youth friendly services.  Establishing youth friendly spaces at service delivery points.   Conducting awareness creation and demand for SRH services to youth including conducting dialogue sessions, and engaging on WhatsApp and other social media platforms like Facebook.  Sensitizing parents and guardians to create an enabling environment for youth to access SRH services.  Coordinating with the Malawi Council for people with disabilities (MACOHA) - a government agency - to increase access to SRHR for persons with disabilities. Community Reproductive Health Promoters sensitization on engaging with young people with disabilities in the community.  Use of the growing mobile phone market in Malawi as a new avenue for reaching young clients by working with a local mobile service operator to promote SRHR messaging on the 3-2-1 platform (a free to use mobile subscription app). These strategies can be found in full here. “Our work complements Government efforts. Through the WISH project and other projects, FPAM has been able to reach out to young women particularly in the hard-to-reach areas with SRH information and services which otherwise could not be available if FPAM was not present in those areas”, said Donald Makwakwa, Executive Director at the Family Planning Association of Malawi. A community training activity by FPAM. In this coming year, despite reduced funding, the project will aim to continue maintaining its innovative adaptations to support access to quality SRH services and rights for women and men living in the most difficult of circumstances. Joyce Ayong, IPPF Board of Trustee member and President of the Youth Action Movement (YAM) at the Cameroon National Planning Association for Family Welfare (CAMNAFAW) highlighted the importance of youth outreach and inclusion especially in the most difficult of circumstances. “We campaign for the cause of young people so that they are taken into account. Young persons with disabilities and youth living in hard to reach areas also need to access SRH care and information and it is our duty to continue to find ways to provide these lifesaving services to them”, said Ayong. The WISH2 program will continue to find adaptive strategies ensuring that the much-needed SRH care in some of the hardest hit countries by the pandemic is delivered to the most marginalized, leaving no one behind when it comes to family planning needs. About the Women’s Integrated Sexual Health Project 2 The Women’s Integrated Sexual Health (WISH) programme offers quality integrated and inclusive family planning and sexual and reproductive health services to marginalized and hard to reach populations: the poor, youth under 20 years and people living with disability. WISH is the UK Government’s flagship programme to support integrated sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) services in a range of countries across Africa and Asia by 2021. The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) manages the WISH programme through a consortium arrangement (Lot 2) with 10 IPPF Member Associations and hand - picked partners chosen for their expertise to maximise access and reach for people in 15 countries: Development Media International (DMI), Humanity and Inclusion UK (HI), International Rescue Committee (IRC), Marie Stopes International (MSI), and Options Consultancy Services (Options). The countries are: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Burundi, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Pakistan, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe. For more updates on our work, follow IPPF Africa Region on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and You Tube.   [1] Total Fertility Rate 2021 (worldpopulationreview.com)

Namibia
media center

| 28 July 2022

Abortion hearings: What’s going on in Namibia?

Namibia is under the spotlight this month as it resumes public hearings on abortion on 16 January. This follows the hearings which took place late last year, and will hopefully play an important role in the liberalization of abortion laws in the country.  The current laws regulating abortion are no longer fit for purpose – not least because the Abortion and Sterilisation Act of 1975 was adopted under apartheid South African rule and has since been repealed in South Africa. The Act currently permits abortion only in very limited circumstances, and imposes criminal penalties on women who obtain and those who perform abortions outside of this limited scope. Those who can afford it are forced to travel to South Africa for abortion care, but this option is out of reach for many women. The law, therefore, impacts far more heavily on poor and black women, perpetuating the cycle of poverty and reinforcing injustices.  In 2020, 62,000 Namibians signed a petition calling for the liberalization of abortion laws, so there is certainly public backing for progress. The upcoming hearings are a key opportunity to make positive changes in the lives of all women, regardless of religious beliefs, age, race, and socioeconomic status.

Namibia
media_center

| 14 January 2022

Abortion hearings: What’s going on in Namibia?

Namibia is under the spotlight this month as it resumes public hearings on abortion on 16 January. This follows the hearings which took place late last year, and will hopefully play an important role in the liberalization of abortion laws in the country.  The current laws regulating abortion are no longer fit for purpose – not least because the Abortion and Sterilisation Act of 1975 was adopted under apartheid South African rule and has since been repealed in South Africa. The Act currently permits abortion only in very limited circumstances, and imposes criminal penalties on women who obtain and those who perform abortions outside of this limited scope. Those who can afford it are forced to travel to South Africa for abortion care, but this option is out of reach for many women. The law, therefore, impacts far more heavily on poor and black women, perpetuating the cycle of poverty and reinforcing injustices.  In 2020, 62,000 Namibians signed a petition calling for the liberalization of abortion laws, so there is certainly public backing for progress. The upcoming hearings are a key opportunity to make positive changes in the lives of all women, regardless of religious beliefs, age, race, and socioeconomic status.

LGBTI person
media center

| 28 July 2022

Namibia: High Court rules against same-sex couples fighting for recognition of their marriages

The IPPF Africa region is concerned by the Namibian High Court ruling on the application of non-Namibian same-sex spouses to live and work in the country. It is the latest legal battle to push for equal rights in the country. According to the High Court’s judge, Hannelie Prinsloo, the legal decision was based on an outdated law preventing the LGBTI+ community from enjoying equal human rights across the country. IPPFAR strongly encourages African Governments to review and adapt outdated laws to reflect today’s societal realities ensuring the full enjoyment of human rights for all.

LGBTI person
media_center

| 21 January 2022

Namibia: High Court rules against same-sex couples fighting for recognition of their marriages

The IPPF Africa region is concerned by the Namibian High Court ruling on the application of non-Namibian same-sex spouses to live and work in the country. It is the latest legal battle to push for equal rights in the country. According to the High Court’s judge, Hannelie Prinsloo, the legal decision was based on an outdated law preventing the LGBTI+ community from enjoying equal human rights across the country. IPPFAR strongly encourages African Governments to review and adapt outdated laws to reflect today’s societal realities ensuring the full enjoyment of human rights for all.

angola flag
media center

| 28 July 2022

Angola Decriminalizes Same-Sex Relations

The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) welcomes the news of Angola decriminalizing same sex relationships.  IPPF recognizes and congratulates activists, advocates and organizations that helped make this historic change in the law possible. On Thursday 10 February, Angola’s new penal code came into force, which decriminalized same-sex relations. It also introduces sexual orientation protections into some of Angola’s non-discrimination clauses and mentions sexual orientation in the hate speech clauses of the penal code. Angolans of all sexual orientations can finally live more freely and enjoy the same constitutional right to love and bodily autonomy. These changes are the first rewriting of colonial-era laws since Angola gained independence in 1975, which removed colonial-era clauses that have been in effect since the penal code introduced a ban in 1886. IPPF Africa Regional Office Director Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry stated: “The news coming from Angola breathes new life and gives renewed hope not only for the LGBTI community in Angola but Africa as a whole. The colonial-era anti-LGBTI laws have been a stain on our collective conscience, and this ruling marks a new era of inclusivity, hope and love. No one should be treated as a criminal for choosing who to love, and we hope this change in the law inspires other countries that have a similar colonial hangover to review their own laws.” The first step to change the penal code was announced in 2019, when the Parliament approved the proposed changes. However, only in November 2020 was it signed by President João Lourenço, with a 90 days delay until it came into force last week. The new penal code overturned the language of “vice against nature”, which was understood as a ban on same-sex relations. The new law includes several articles protecting against discrimination based on sexual orientation, in relation to work or at public places and events, and includes imprisonment of up to two years for discrimination based on sexual orientation. After the decriminalization in Angola, the number of countries where homosexuality is decriminalized is now 72. This is a solid foundation for the work that lies ahead to enable a world where all people can make decisions about their sexuality and well-being free of discrimination, a fight that IPPF will be active in. Read this statement in Portuguese.

angola flag
media_center

| 19 February 2021

Angola Decriminalizes Same-Sex Relations

The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) welcomes the news of Angola decriminalizing same sex relationships.  IPPF recognizes and congratulates activists, advocates and organizations that helped make this historic change in the law possible. On Thursday 10 February, Angola’s new penal code came into force, which decriminalized same-sex relations. It also introduces sexual orientation protections into some of Angola’s non-discrimination clauses and mentions sexual orientation in the hate speech clauses of the penal code. Angolans of all sexual orientations can finally live more freely and enjoy the same constitutional right to love and bodily autonomy. These changes are the first rewriting of colonial-era laws since Angola gained independence in 1975, which removed colonial-era clauses that have been in effect since the penal code introduced a ban in 1886. IPPF Africa Regional Office Director Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry stated: “The news coming from Angola breathes new life and gives renewed hope not only for the LGBTI community in Angola but Africa as a whole. The colonial-era anti-LGBTI laws have been a stain on our collective conscience, and this ruling marks a new era of inclusivity, hope and love. No one should be treated as a criminal for choosing who to love, and we hope this change in the law inspires other countries that have a similar colonial hangover to review their own laws.” The first step to change the penal code was announced in 2019, when the Parliament approved the proposed changes. However, only in November 2020 was it signed by President João Lourenço, with a 90 days delay until it came into force last week. The new penal code overturned the language of “vice against nature”, which was understood as a ban on same-sex relations. The new law includes several articles protecting against discrimination based on sexual orientation, in relation to work or at public places and events, and includes imprisonment of up to two years for discrimination based on sexual orientation. After the decriminalization in Angola, the number of countries where homosexuality is decriminalized is now 72. This is a solid foundation for the work that lies ahead to enable a world where all people can make decisions about their sexuality and well-being free of discrimination, a fight that IPPF will be active in. Read this statement in Portuguese.

Couple_Togo_contraception _ family planning_IPPF_Xaume Olleros.jpeg
media center

| 28 July 2022

PPFAR Statement on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) day

12 December 2020. Today, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) Africa Region joins the rest of the world in celebrating the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) day. The goal of UHC is to ensure that all people have access to high-quality health services without suffering financial hardship. A critical step to achieving this goal is the full realization of people’s access to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and more so, among women and girls. Owing to their unique needs and vulnerabilities, the success of UHC cannot be fully achieved until all women and girls can access the sexual reproductive health services they need. Each day, more than 800 women die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. According to the World Health Organization, 94% of all maternal deaths occur in low and lower middle-income countries. 218 million women in these countries have an unmet need for modern contraception according to the Guttmacher Institute, which also states that 35 million women have abortions in unsafe conditions. A further 133 million do not receive the treatment they need for chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis and trichomoniasis. Cervical cancer, which is the fourth most common cancer among women globally is also a great challenge, with nearly 90% of the 311,000 deaths worldwide in 2018 occurring in these countries. These figures highlight the profound need to invest more in SRHR. Lack of high-quality sexual and reproductive health care undoubtedly puts women at risk for negative reproductive health outcomes. Weak health outcomes are strongly interrelated with gender inequalities, discrimination, violence and lack of SRHR information and services. It is therefore paramount that SRHR is integrated into UHC to protect gains and accelerate progress towards various goals, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The integration of SRHR into UHC requires addressing the multiple legal and sociocultural barriers that limit access to services and prevent women and girls from fulfilling their right to health. While governments are responsible for determining their own path towards UHC, this must be done in an accordance with agreed human rights treaties and commitments, including respecting and promoting SRHR. IPPF Africa Region is committed to addressing the challenges that impede the achievement of UHC, with particular focus on those pertaining to SRHR. On this day, we implore all African governments, donors and partners to call for greater investment in SRHR, and ensure that a comprehensive package of SRHR interventions is a fundamental part of national UHC policies, strategies and programmes. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Media Contacts: Maryanne Wanyama, Communications Officer, IPPFARO, Nairobi (Kenya) - Email: [email protected]

Couple_Togo_contraception _ family planning_IPPF_Xaume Olleros.jpeg
media_center

| 12 December 2020

PPFAR Statement on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) day

12 December 2020. Today, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) Africa Region joins the rest of the world in celebrating the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) day. The goal of UHC is to ensure that all people have access to high-quality health services without suffering financial hardship. A critical step to achieving this goal is the full realization of people’s access to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and more so, among women and girls. Owing to their unique needs and vulnerabilities, the success of UHC cannot be fully achieved until all women and girls can access the sexual reproductive health services they need. Each day, more than 800 women die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. According to the World Health Organization, 94% of all maternal deaths occur in low and lower middle-income countries. 218 million women in these countries have an unmet need for modern contraception according to the Guttmacher Institute, which also states that 35 million women have abortions in unsafe conditions. A further 133 million do not receive the treatment they need for chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis and trichomoniasis. Cervical cancer, which is the fourth most common cancer among women globally is also a great challenge, with nearly 90% of the 311,000 deaths worldwide in 2018 occurring in these countries. These figures highlight the profound need to invest more in SRHR. Lack of high-quality sexual and reproductive health care undoubtedly puts women at risk for negative reproductive health outcomes. Weak health outcomes are strongly interrelated with gender inequalities, discrimination, violence and lack of SRHR information and services. It is therefore paramount that SRHR is integrated into UHC to protect gains and accelerate progress towards various goals, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The integration of SRHR into UHC requires addressing the multiple legal and sociocultural barriers that limit access to services and prevent women and girls from fulfilling their right to health. While governments are responsible for determining their own path towards UHC, this must be done in an accordance with agreed human rights treaties and commitments, including respecting and promoting SRHR. IPPF Africa Region is committed to addressing the challenges that impede the achievement of UHC, with particular focus on those pertaining to SRHR. On this day, we implore all African governments, donors and partners to call for greater investment in SRHR, and ensure that a comprehensive package of SRHR interventions is a fundamental part of national UHC policies, strategies and programmes. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Media Contacts: Maryanne Wanyama, Communications Officer, IPPFARO, Nairobi (Kenya) - Email: [email protected]

abortion care
media center

| 28 July 2022

IPPFAR Statement on International Safe Abortion Day 2020

Nairobi, 28 September 2020. Today, International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR) joins the rest of the world in celebrating the International Safe Abortion Day under the theme: “Telemedicine, self-managed abortion and access to safe abortion in the context of COVID-19 pandemic”.  According to WHO and Guttmacher, at least 25 million unsafe abortions occurred every year between 2010 and 2014. Majority (97%) of these were in developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. This is a major public health concern in these parts of the world where restrictive abortion laws and policies are the norm, resulting in preventable maternal deaths due to rampant incidences of unsafe abortion. Yet, restricting a woman’s ability to choose to end an unwanted pregnancy is a violation of her human rights. The unprecedented COVID-19 situation has severely impacted access to safe abortion in countries where favourable policies exist. With stretched health systems, diversion of resources to the COVID-19 response, disruptions in commodity supplies (including contraceptive products) and limited access to services, women's needs for sexual and reproductive health care, including contraception and safe abortion have been greatly affected. At IPPFAR, through our Member Associations, we are innovating with new service delivery models of telemedicine and self-care approaches that address women and girls’ contraception and safe abortion needs in this era of the pandemic. For example, our IPPF MA in Togo began booking clients and providing services through a toll-free teleconsultation service, which has facilitated clients’ access to services when they face challenges travelling to clinics owing to movement restrictions. The approach has further eased client flow in clinics at this time of social distancing. Additionally, the youth friendly ‘InfoAdoJeunes’ mobile application continues to provide information and remote counselling services for young people. The extensive usage of social media and other digital platforms, for example, in Cameroon, Kenya, Guinea, Ethiopia, and Togo have been effective in disseminating information about abortion and contraception, and to advertise other services available at the clinics. As the world celebrates this day, we call on African governments to domesticate, disseminate and implement provisions of the African Union Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa. Commonly known as the Maputo Protocol, this instrument remains one of the most progressive legal instruments providing a comprehensive set of human rights for African women. We also call on other member states who have not signed nor ratified to do so. IPPFAR and its Member Associations recommit to provide safe abortion services where permissible by law. Media Contacts: -Maryanne Wanyama, IPPFARO, Nairobi (Kenya) – Email: [email protected] -Sam Ntelamo, Resident Representative, International Planned Parenthood Federation, Liaison Office to the African Union & UNECA, Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) – Phone: +251 (11) 667 0699/0761 - Mobile +251 (0) 944 73 2051- Email: [email protected]

abortion care
media_center

| 28 September 2020

IPPFAR Statement on International Safe Abortion Day 2020

Nairobi, 28 September 2020. Today, International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR) joins the rest of the world in celebrating the International Safe Abortion Day under the theme: “Telemedicine, self-managed abortion and access to safe abortion in the context of COVID-19 pandemic”.  According to WHO and Guttmacher, at least 25 million unsafe abortions occurred every year between 2010 and 2014. Majority (97%) of these were in developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. This is a major public health concern in these parts of the world where restrictive abortion laws and policies are the norm, resulting in preventable maternal deaths due to rampant incidences of unsafe abortion. Yet, restricting a woman’s ability to choose to end an unwanted pregnancy is a violation of her human rights. The unprecedented COVID-19 situation has severely impacted access to safe abortion in countries where favourable policies exist. With stretched health systems, diversion of resources to the COVID-19 response, disruptions in commodity supplies (including contraceptive products) and limited access to services, women's needs for sexual and reproductive health care, including contraception and safe abortion have been greatly affected. At IPPFAR, through our Member Associations, we are innovating with new service delivery models of telemedicine and self-care approaches that address women and girls’ contraception and safe abortion needs in this era of the pandemic. For example, our IPPF MA in Togo began booking clients and providing services through a toll-free teleconsultation service, which has facilitated clients’ access to services when they face challenges travelling to clinics owing to movement restrictions. The approach has further eased client flow in clinics at this time of social distancing. Additionally, the youth friendly ‘InfoAdoJeunes’ mobile application continues to provide information and remote counselling services for young people. The extensive usage of social media and other digital platforms, for example, in Cameroon, Kenya, Guinea, Ethiopia, and Togo have been effective in disseminating information about abortion and contraception, and to advertise other services available at the clinics. As the world celebrates this day, we call on African governments to domesticate, disseminate and implement provisions of the African Union Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa. Commonly known as the Maputo Protocol, this instrument remains one of the most progressive legal instruments providing a comprehensive set of human rights for African women. We also call on other member states who have not signed nor ratified to do so. IPPFAR and its Member Associations recommit to provide safe abortion services where permissible by law. Media Contacts: -Maryanne Wanyama, IPPFARO, Nairobi (Kenya) – Email: [email protected] -Sam Ntelamo, Resident Representative, International Planned Parenthood Federation, Liaison Office to the African Union & UNECA, Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) – Phone: +251 (11) 667 0699/0761 - Mobile +251 (0) 944 73 2051- Email: [email protected]

Mali_GGR_She Decides 2020_84448_IPPF_Xaume Olleros_Mali_IPPF_Xaume Olleros
media center

| 28 July 2022

World Population Day 2021: Increasing Effective Strategies for SRHR Information and Services (Focus on Malawi)

Sunday, 11 July 2021. As we commemorate the World Population Day with a projected 7.9 billion people on the planet today, our thoughts also turn to what were the reproductive needs and wants of women and girls in Africa during this extraordinary year and whether were they fulfilled. The COVID-19 pandemic has had devastating effects on the provision of health care services, including sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services, often more so in countries in Africa that are already struggling to keep up with normal preventative and curative services, let alone COVID-19 related morbidity and mortality. While fertility rates across the globe are shifting in both directions, and with Africa accounting for the top 23 highest total fertility rates (TFR)[1] in the world, the IPPF Women’s Integrated Sexual Health project (WISH2) provides SRH care to women, men and young people in 15 countries across the world - 12 of them being in Africa, including in fragile and conflict affected countries. The WISH2 program offers quality integrated and inclusive family planning and SRH services to marginalized and hard to reach populations: the poor, youth under 20 years and people living with disability. Within this framework, the WISH2 project recognized that many of these countries’ health services have been devastatingly affected by waves of the pandemic and adapted SRH services to ensure, wherever possible, continued access to SRH care to support women to achieve their reproductive intentions during the pandemic. In Malawi, we can focus in on young people against the backdrop of COVID-19 and a health system struggling to cope. Youth in Malawi face a myriad of challenges such as early marriages, unintended pregnancies, unsafe abortions, high new HIV infections, early childbearing, drug and alcohol abuse, high illiteracy rate, poverty, and HIV and AIDS pandemic. (NSRHR Policy 2017–2022). While young people make up the largest and fastest growing proportion of population in Malawi with 51% of the population below 18 years, access to SRH care remains low among Malawian youth with 41% of adolescent women aged 15–19 having an unmet need for modern contraception. A Family Planning training in Lilongwe, Malawi, by Family Planning Association of Malawi (FPAM). As the world celebrates population day, the Family Planning Association of Malawi (FPAM), which is IPPF's Member Association in the country, has increased effective strategies for providing access to information and SRH care to youth, including persons living with disabilities throughout the pandemic in the country. Some of these strategies include; Training of youth leaders to conduct peer learning programs and training of health care providers in Youth friendly services.  Establishing youth friendly spaces at service delivery points.   Conducting awareness creation and demand for SRH services to youth including conducting dialogue sessions, and engaging on WhatsApp and other social media platforms like Facebook.  Sensitizing parents and guardians to create an enabling environment for youth to access SRH services.  Coordinating with the Malawi Council for people with disabilities (MACOHA) - a government agency - to increase access to SRHR for persons with disabilities. Community Reproductive Health Promoters sensitization on engaging with young people with disabilities in the community.  Use of the growing mobile phone market in Malawi as a new avenue for reaching young clients by working with a local mobile service operator to promote SRHR messaging on the 3-2-1 platform (a free to use mobile subscription app). These strategies can be found in full here. “Our work complements Government efforts. Through the WISH project and other projects, FPAM has been able to reach out to young women particularly in the hard-to-reach areas with SRH information and services which otherwise could not be available if FPAM was not present in those areas”, said Donald Makwakwa, Executive Director at the Family Planning Association of Malawi. A community training activity by FPAM. In this coming year, despite reduced funding, the project will aim to continue maintaining its innovative adaptations to support access to quality SRH services and rights for women and men living in the most difficult of circumstances. Joyce Ayong, IPPF Board of Trustee member and President of the Youth Action Movement (YAM) at the Cameroon National Planning Association for Family Welfare (CAMNAFAW) highlighted the importance of youth outreach and inclusion especially in the most difficult of circumstances. “We campaign for the cause of young people so that they are taken into account. Young persons with disabilities and youth living in hard to reach areas also need to access SRH care and information and it is our duty to continue to find ways to provide these lifesaving services to them”, said Ayong. The WISH2 program will continue to find adaptive strategies ensuring that the much-needed SRH care in some of the hardest hit countries by the pandemic is delivered to the most marginalized, leaving no one behind when it comes to family planning needs. About the Women’s Integrated Sexual Health Project 2 The Women’s Integrated Sexual Health (WISH) programme offers quality integrated and inclusive family planning and sexual and reproductive health services to marginalized and hard to reach populations: the poor, youth under 20 years and people living with disability. WISH is the UK Government’s flagship programme to support integrated sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) services in a range of countries across Africa and Asia by 2021. The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) manages the WISH programme through a consortium arrangement (Lot 2) with 10 IPPF Member Associations and hand - picked partners chosen for their expertise to maximise access and reach for people in 15 countries: Development Media International (DMI), Humanity and Inclusion UK (HI), International Rescue Committee (IRC), Marie Stopes International (MSI), and Options Consultancy Services (Options). The countries are: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Burundi, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Pakistan, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe. For more updates on our work, follow IPPF Africa Region on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and You Tube.   [1] Total Fertility Rate 2021 (worldpopulationreview.com)

Mali_GGR_She Decides 2020_84448_IPPF_Xaume Olleros_Mali_IPPF_Xaume Olleros
media_center

| 11 July 2021

World Population Day 2021: Increasing Effective Strategies for SRHR Information and Services (Focus on Malawi)

Sunday, 11 July 2021. As we commemorate the World Population Day with a projected 7.9 billion people on the planet today, our thoughts also turn to what were the reproductive needs and wants of women and girls in Africa during this extraordinary year and whether were they fulfilled. The COVID-19 pandemic has had devastating effects on the provision of health care services, including sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services, often more so in countries in Africa that are already struggling to keep up with normal preventative and curative services, let alone COVID-19 related morbidity and mortality. While fertility rates across the globe are shifting in both directions, and with Africa accounting for the top 23 highest total fertility rates (TFR)[1] in the world, the IPPF Women’s Integrated Sexual Health project (WISH2) provides SRH care to women, men and young people in 15 countries across the world - 12 of them being in Africa, including in fragile and conflict affected countries. The WISH2 program offers quality integrated and inclusive family planning and SRH services to marginalized and hard to reach populations: the poor, youth under 20 years and people living with disability. Within this framework, the WISH2 project recognized that many of these countries’ health services have been devastatingly affected by waves of the pandemic and adapted SRH services to ensure, wherever possible, continued access to SRH care to support women to achieve their reproductive intentions during the pandemic. In Malawi, we can focus in on young people against the backdrop of COVID-19 and a health system struggling to cope. Youth in Malawi face a myriad of challenges such as early marriages, unintended pregnancies, unsafe abortions, high new HIV infections, early childbearing, drug and alcohol abuse, high illiteracy rate, poverty, and HIV and AIDS pandemic. (NSRHR Policy 2017–2022). While young people make up the largest and fastest growing proportion of population in Malawi with 51% of the population below 18 years, access to SRH care remains low among Malawian youth with 41% of adolescent women aged 15–19 having an unmet need for modern contraception. A Family Planning training in Lilongwe, Malawi, by Family Planning Association of Malawi (FPAM). As the world celebrates population day, the Family Planning Association of Malawi (FPAM), which is IPPF's Member Association in the country, has increased effective strategies for providing access to information and SRH care to youth, including persons living with disabilities throughout the pandemic in the country. Some of these strategies include; Training of youth leaders to conduct peer learning programs and training of health care providers in Youth friendly services.  Establishing youth friendly spaces at service delivery points.   Conducting awareness creation and demand for SRH services to youth including conducting dialogue sessions, and engaging on WhatsApp and other social media platforms like Facebook.  Sensitizing parents and guardians to create an enabling environment for youth to access SRH services.  Coordinating with the Malawi Council for people with disabilities (MACOHA) - a government agency - to increase access to SRHR for persons with disabilities. Community Reproductive Health Promoters sensitization on engaging with young people with disabilities in the community.  Use of the growing mobile phone market in Malawi as a new avenue for reaching young clients by working with a local mobile service operator to promote SRHR messaging on the 3-2-1 platform (a free to use mobile subscription app). These strategies can be found in full here. “Our work complements Government efforts. Through the WISH project and other projects, FPAM has been able to reach out to young women particularly in the hard-to-reach areas with SRH information and services which otherwise could not be available if FPAM was not present in those areas”, said Donald Makwakwa, Executive Director at the Family Planning Association of Malawi. A community training activity by FPAM. In this coming year, despite reduced funding, the project will aim to continue maintaining its innovative adaptations to support access to quality SRH services and rights for women and men living in the most difficult of circumstances. Joyce Ayong, IPPF Board of Trustee member and President of the Youth Action Movement (YAM) at the Cameroon National Planning Association for Family Welfare (CAMNAFAW) highlighted the importance of youth outreach and inclusion especially in the most difficult of circumstances. “We campaign for the cause of young people so that they are taken into account. Young persons with disabilities and youth living in hard to reach areas also need to access SRH care and information and it is our duty to continue to find ways to provide these lifesaving services to them”, said Ayong. The WISH2 program will continue to find adaptive strategies ensuring that the much-needed SRH care in some of the hardest hit countries by the pandemic is delivered to the most marginalized, leaving no one behind when it comes to family planning needs. About the Women’s Integrated Sexual Health Project 2 The Women’s Integrated Sexual Health (WISH) programme offers quality integrated and inclusive family planning and sexual and reproductive health services to marginalized and hard to reach populations: the poor, youth under 20 years and people living with disability. WISH is the UK Government’s flagship programme to support integrated sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) services in a range of countries across Africa and Asia by 2021. The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) manages the WISH programme through a consortium arrangement (Lot 2) with 10 IPPF Member Associations and hand - picked partners chosen for their expertise to maximise access and reach for people in 15 countries: Development Media International (DMI), Humanity and Inclusion UK (HI), International Rescue Committee (IRC), Marie Stopes International (MSI), and Options Consultancy Services (Options). The countries are: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Burundi, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Pakistan, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe. For more updates on our work, follow IPPF Africa Region on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and You Tube.   [1] Total Fertility Rate 2021 (worldpopulationreview.com)