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News

Latest news from IPPF

Spotlight

A selection of news from across the Federation

IPPF West Africa EDs and YAM Presidents in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire

Côte d'Ivoire

News item

Côte d'Ivoire hosts IPPF Member Associations from West and Central Africa for the launch of the new IPPF sub-office for the sub-region

The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) Africa regional office gathered from 17 to 22 October in Abidjan, the Executive Directors and Presidents of the Youth Action Movements (YAMs) of its Member Associations in West and Central Africa (Francophone, Anglophone and Lusophone) as part of the launch of its new sub-office for West and Central Africa.
Bungoma county training
news item

| 24 November 2022

Bridging the knowledge gap on abortion care; addressing & reducing incidence of increased maternal mortality and morbidity

In Kenya, abortion is regulated by article 26(4) of the Constitution which states that: abortion is permitted (and legal) when in the opinion of a trained health professional, there is need for emergency treatment, or the life or health of the mother is in danger, or if permitted by any other written law. Unsafe abortion in Kenya is among the highest in Africa. According to Dr Ann Kihara from the International Federation of Gygaecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) maternal mortality is high at about 6,000 deaths per year and 17% of them are as a result of complications from unsafe abortion. Most of these cases have moderate to severe complications requiring specialized treatment and often have lasting health effects. Despite these statistics, most healthcare providers in Kenya lack comprehensive knowledge on the laws that and access to abortion care, and the skills to effectively assess, recommend and provide abortion care within the constitutional provision. Moreover, existing adverse social cultural and religious beliefs create barriers for effective counseling, assessment, referrals, and provision of life saving comprehensive abortion services. Through the support of the Guttmacher Institute and the International Plan Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR), Reproductive Health Network Kenya (RHNK) conducted a training for private healthcare providers on Comprehensive Abortion Care (CAC) from 17th to 21st October 2022 in Bungoma County, Western Kenya. The training included in depth learning activities and discussions on the legal framework for comprehensive abortion care, consequences of unsafe abortion in Kenya, counselling for post abortion care (PAC), infection prevention, complications and management, counselling for informed decision making in post abortion care and pain management. The main objective of the training was to contribute towards reduction of abortion stigma and creating an enabling environment for quality service provision by private healthcare providers in the County. Beverlynn Juma, a service provider in Misikhu, shared: “Bungoma County has high incidents of unsafe abortions because people are not open about it, so many unsafe abortions go unreported. CAC training will enable most service providers to be open about the fact that they provide safe abortion services, leading to increased awareness of the availability of these services. Reproductive Health Network Kenya in partnership with the county government will improve the state of abortion by enabling girls to be able to go for the procedure freely hence reducing mortality rates’’. From the testimonials shared by Beverly and other healthcare providers in the training; access to safe abortion information in Bungoma County is also limited due to knowledge gaps on the legality of the service and their obligation as providers. Martin Onyango, the Strategic Legal Expert at the Centre for Reproductive Rights Africa Region stated that his hope and wish is that “…the training invokes the desire to offer safe services by providers and equally empower them to be champions and advocates for safe abortion in their county”. The Bungoma County Reproductive Health Coordinator, Mrs. Christine Naliaka expressed her appreciation for the training and partnership between RHNK and the County government of Bungoma, which in her opinion is very timely and said: “there still exists stigma of CAC & PAC services, clients still hide and don’t open up to safe abortion services despite inevitable conditions like miscarriages. Some of the challenges faced by the facilities in provision of abortion services is that the providers don’t display PAC services on their service charters, no financial allocation of PAC/CAC services from the county government, reporting tools are not available in all facilities, and there is no capacity building of the providers”.   She acknowledged the contribution of partners in promoting service access as most clients from Bungoma receive services from private facilities. Christine also recommended support supervision visits after the training to ascertain whether the providers are compliant and giving quality services such as PAC/CAC as an emergency service. She also mentioned that collaborations and partnership between should be deepened to bridge the information gap in service access, and critically partners should work seamlessly with the county structures to provide more information to the public while working on building the capacity of the providers to create a favorable working environment, and stronger continuum of care.  “The training has been successful especially in terms of establishing a network of providers in Bungoma County as well as filling the gaps in terms of skills gap and having necessary knowledge to provide the services. We believe that the providers we have trained will be part of the network for Bungoma County under RHNK umbrella and provide quality services especially to the under-reached population, the youth, adolescents and women in the rural areas.’’ Dr. Wambulwa, Bungoma County Pharmacist. In order to reduce maternal mortality, it is critical that key stakeholders’ intensify preventive promotive SRHR campaigns for right holders’ awareness of their needs. Stakeholders’ should also promote public-private partnership in building the capacity of Health Care Providers in understanding their professional roles and provision of fundamental human rights. “We applaud the County Government of Bungoma, and all the other partnerships and actors who are working continually and untiringly to expand access to abortion care. Almost 90% of abortions in countries with liberal abortion laws are considered safe, compared to only 25% in countries where abortion is banned. This is a serious violation of human rights. Medical abortion has revolutionised access to care and safe abortion, both inside and outside the health system. These advances must be protected, and at IPPF we are committed to expanding the knowledge of and acceptance around abortion care, reducing the number of deaths of women and girls who are forced to turn to unsafe abortion methods,” said Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry, Regional Director of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, Africa Region. The government should prioritize aligning SRHR legal frameworks to create an enabling environment for access to information and healthcare by all. They should ensure increased funds allocation to SRHR including abortion commodities and equipment in both public and private facilities for access to quality and comprehensive SRHR. In conclusion there is need for investment in research for continuous SRHR evidence generation to inform current and future programming centered on the needs of providers, communities and other stakeholders.

Bungoma county training
news_item

| 24 November 2022

Bridging the knowledge gap on abortion care; addressing & reducing incidence of increased maternal mortality and morbidity

In Kenya, abortion is regulated by article 26(4) of the Constitution which states that: abortion is permitted (and legal) when in the opinion of a trained health professional, there is need for emergency treatment, or the life or health of the mother is in danger, or if permitted by any other written law. Unsafe abortion in Kenya is among the highest in Africa. According to Dr Ann Kihara from the International Federation of Gygaecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) maternal mortality is high at about 6,000 deaths per year and 17% of them are as a result of complications from unsafe abortion. Most of these cases have moderate to severe complications requiring specialized treatment and often have lasting health effects. Despite these statistics, most healthcare providers in Kenya lack comprehensive knowledge on the laws that and access to abortion care, and the skills to effectively assess, recommend and provide abortion care within the constitutional provision. Moreover, existing adverse social cultural and religious beliefs create barriers for effective counseling, assessment, referrals, and provision of life saving comprehensive abortion services. Through the support of the Guttmacher Institute and the International Plan Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR), Reproductive Health Network Kenya (RHNK) conducted a training for private healthcare providers on Comprehensive Abortion Care (CAC) from 17th to 21st October 2022 in Bungoma County, Western Kenya. The training included in depth learning activities and discussions on the legal framework for comprehensive abortion care, consequences of unsafe abortion in Kenya, counselling for post abortion care (PAC), infection prevention, complications and management, counselling for informed decision making in post abortion care and pain management. The main objective of the training was to contribute towards reduction of abortion stigma and creating an enabling environment for quality service provision by private healthcare providers in the County. Beverlynn Juma, a service provider in Misikhu, shared: “Bungoma County has high incidents of unsafe abortions because people are not open about it, so many unsafe abortions go unreported. CAC training will enable most service providers to be open about the fact that they provide safe abortion services, leading to increased awareness of the availability of these services. Reproductive Health Network Kenya in partnership with the county government will improve the state of abortion by enabling girls to be able to go for the procedure freely hence reducing mortality rates’’. From the testimonials shared by Beverly and other healthcare providers in the training; access to safe abortion information in Bungoma County is also limited due to knowledge gaps on the legality of the service and their obligation as providers. Martin Onyango, the Strategic Legal Expert at the Centre for Reproductive Rights Africa Region stated that his hope and wish is that “…the training invokes the desire to offer safe services by providers and equally empower them to be champions and advocates for safe abortion in their county”. The Bungoma County Reproductive Health Coordinator, Mrs. Christine Naliaka expressed her appreciation for the training and partnership between RHNK and the County government of Bungoma, which in her opinion is very timely and said: “there still exists stigma of CAC & PAC services, clients still hide and don’t open up to safe abortion services despite inevitable conditions like miscarriages. Some of the challenges faced by the facilities in provision of abortion services is that the providers don’t display PAC services on their service charters, no financial allocation of PAC/CAC services from the county government, reporting tools are not available in all facilities, and there is no capacity building of the providers”.   She acknowledged the contribution of partners in promoting service access as most clients from Bungoma receive services from private facilities. Christine also recommended support supervision visits after the training to ascertain whether the providers are compliant and giving quality services such as PAC/CAC as an emergency service. She also mentioned that collaborations and partnership between should be deepened to bridge the information gap in service access, and critically partners should work seamlessly with the county structures to provide more information to the public while working on building the capacity of the providers to create a favorable working environment, and stronger continuum of care.  “The training has been successful especially in terms of establishing a network of providers in Bungoma County as well as filling the gaps in terms of skills gap and having necessary knowledge to provide the services. We believe that the providers we have trained will be part of the network for Bungoma County under RHNK umbrella and provide quality services especially to the under-reached population, the youth, adolescents and women in the rural areas.’’ Dr. Wambulwa, Bungoma County Pharmacist. In order to reduce maternal mortality, it is critical that key stakeholders’ intensify preventive promotive SRHR campaigns for right holders’ awareness of their needs. Stakeholders’ should also promote public-private partnership in building the capacity of Health Care Providers in understanding their professional roles and provision of fundamental human rights. “We applaud the County Government of Bungoma, and all the other partnerships and actors who are working continually and untiringly to expand access to abortion care. Almost 90% of abortions in countries with liberal abortion laws are considered safe, compared to only 25% in countries where abortion is banned. This is a serious violation of human rights. Medical abortion has revolutionised access to care and safe abortion, both inside and outside the health system. These advances must be protected, and at IPPF we are committed to expanding the knowledge of and acceptance around abortion care, reducing the number of deaths of women and girls who are forced to turn to unsafe abortion methods,” said Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry, Regional Director of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, Africa Region. The government should prioritize aligning SRHR legal frameworks to create an enabling environment for access to information and healthcare by all. They should ensure increased funds allocation to SRHR including abortion commodities and equipment in both public and private facilities for access to quality and comprehensive SRHR. In conclusion there is need for investment in research for continuous SRHR evidence generation to inform current and future programming centered on the needs of providers, communities and other stakeholders.

Haingo-Rabearimonjy
news item

| 06 November 2019

Regional Forum on SRHR Best Practices Among Youth in Francophone Africa

Cotonou, BENIN:  Over 150 youth drawn from the Youth Action Movement (YAM) and other youth organizations from Francophone African countries are gathered in Cotonou, Benin, for the second edition of the regional forum aimed at sharing best practices on Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), especially among adolescents and young people. The youth are drawn from over 20 countries. Discussions at the forum are centered around the identification of effective strategies and responses that have proven successful in advocating for the Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) of adolescents and young people in Africa, and disseminating them to different stakeholders. This year's theme is titled: “Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights for Adolescents and Youth: Government Priority”. The experiences shared, opportunities identified and solutions proposed by the young people at the forum will help inform policy and SRHR programs in the sub-Saharan region, more so Francophone Africa. IPPF Africa Region and its different partners greatly value youth engagement and their direct involvement in the design of and implementation of health programs, especially those pertaining to sexual reproductive health and rights. Their voices and meaningful participation are instrumental in the achievement of improved health outcomes. The regional forum has been organized by the Benin chapter of the Youth Action Movement (YAM), and is supported by the Embassy of Netherlands in Benin and IPPF. Other participants in the forum include representatives from different government ministries, donor agencies, non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations, religious leaders and other stakeholders. The regional forum is timely, taking place ahead of the high-level ICPD25 Summit to be held in Nairobi, Kenya from 12 – 14 November 2019. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) first held in Cairo. At the conference, 179 governments adopted a Programme of Action that underscored that fact that reproductive health, women’s empowerment and gender equality are key to sustainable development. ICPD25 is aimed at mobilizing political will and financial commitments needed to accelerate the full implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action. These commitments will be centered around achieving zero unmet need for family planning information and services, zero preventable maternal deaths, and zero sexual and gender-based violence and harmful practices against women and girls. Story by Maryanne W. Waweru, Governance and Compliance Officer, IPPF Africa Region. For more information about the work of IPPF Africa Region, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Haingo-Rabearimonjy
news_item

| 05 November 2019

Regional Forum on SRHR Best Practices Among Youth in Francophone Africa

Cotonou, BENIN:  Over 150 youth drawn from the Youth Action Movement (YAM) and other youth organizations from Francophone African countries are gathered in Cotonou, Benin, for the second edition of the regional forum aimed at sharing best practices on Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), especially among adolescents and young people. The youth are drawn from over 20 countries. Discussions at the forum are centered around the identification of effective strategies and responses that have proven successful in advocating for the Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) of adolescents and young people in Africa, and disseminating them to different stakeholders. This year's theme is titled: “Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights for Adolescents and Youth: Government Priority”. The experiences shared, opportunities identified and solutions proposed by the young people at the forum will help inform policy and SRHR programs in the sub-Saharan region, more so Francophone Africa. IPPF Africa Region and its different partners greatly value youth engagement and their direct involvement in the design of and implementation of health programs, especially those pertaining to sexual reproductive health and rights. Their voices and meaningful participation are instrumental in the achievement of improved health outcomes. The regional forum has been organized by the Benin chapter of the Youth Action Movement (YAM), and is supported by the Embassy of Netherlands in Benin and IPPF. Other participants in the forum include representatives from different government ministries, donor agencies, non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations, religious leaders and other stakeholders. The regional forum is timely, taking place ahead of the high-level ICPD25 Summit to be held in Nairobi, Kenya from 12 – 14 November 2019. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) first held in Cairo. At the conference, 179 governments adopted a Programme of Action that underscored that fact that reproductive health, women’s empowerment and gender equality are key to sustainable development. ICPD25 is aimed at mobilizing political will and financial commitments needed to accelerate the full implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action. These commitments will be centered around achieving zero unmet need for family planning information and services, zero preventable maternal deaths, and zero sexual and gender-based violence and harmful practices against women and girls. Story by Maryanne W. Waweru, Governance and Compliance Officer, IPPF Africa Region. For more information about the work of IPPF Africa Region, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

FHOK
news item

| 28 May 2018

FHOK’s Social Enterprise Model, SMART Care System Lauded by IPPFAR Member Associations

Family Health Options Kenya (FHOK), which is IPPF’s Member Association in Kenya this week played host to a team of Program Directors and Directors of Finance drawn from different Member Associations (MAs) in the Africa region. The Directors are in Nairobi attending a strategic workshop aimed at enhancing their capacity for the improvement of the programmatic, financial and operational management practices of their MAs. During one of their activities, which included the visit to FHOK’s headquarters in Nairobi, the Directors received insights into the different programs that FHOK is currently implementing. With a rich experience spanning over five decades, FHOK is recognized as one of the leading service providers in Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) in Kenya. FHOK has 16 health facilities and 9 youth centers located in different parts of the country. During the learning visit, FHOK shared its experiences in the areas of: clinical services, finance and administration, project implementation, governance, networking, building partnerships, advocacy and human resource. Some of the projects that FHOK is currently implementing include those around the integration of SRHR issues with environmental stability and climate change, mitigating the impact of the Global Gag Rule (GGR) through the social enterprise model, and innovative youth programmes that target both in-school and out-of-school youth. The Directors also toured FHOK’s Nairobi West Family Care Medical Center & Maternity. The center, started in 1999, operates on a 24-hour basis and offers a wide range of in and out-patient services. They include: counselling, family planning, STI treatment and management, HIV services, pre-nantal and post-natal care, maternity services, well baby clinics, gynaecological services, curative services and specialist clinics, among others. The medical center has a well-stocked pharmacy and a well-equipped laboratory. The visiting Directors lauded FHOK for its innovative projects and passion for serving the Kenyan population with quality health services. “Indeed, there is a lot to learn from FHOK. Their intense resource mobilization efforts, that have resulted in funding for several projects is impressive. This is something that other MAs should emulate,” said Mr. Desta Kebede, Program Director at Family Guidance Association of Ethiopia (FGAE). “There is also plenty to learn from FHOK’s social enterprise model, which is fueled by the organization’s desire to shift its focus from traditional revenue streams -to that of using different entrepreneurial methods to create social impact,” he added. The Directors also commended FHOK for its electronic data management system -SMART Care. This is a system that has helped the organization effectively manage its operations such as in logistics, where it is able to use data to forecast and manage commodities. The use of SMART Care has helped the MA avoid cases of stock-outs. The paperless SMART Care system has also benefitted FHOK in the integration of finances and statistics, as well as in the management of human resources at clinic level. “SMART Care has significantly reduced the workload of our service providers when it comes to capturing of essential data in real time, and consequent generation of reports. Through SMART Care, consumer specific reports -MoH, FHOK, IPPF and donor reports are readily generated at the end of each month by our health personnel within a very short time. The system has gone a long way in ensuring quality data and enhancing compliance to reporting timelines within FHOK,” said Ms. Esther Muketo, Director, Resource Mobilization at FHOK. FHOK is also recognized as one of IPPFAR’s Learning Centers. IPPFAR’s Learning Center Initiative (LCI) is aimed at building capacity through its Member Association network by developing and sharing innovative and best practice approaches on Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH). Learning Centers such as FHOK are regarded as centers of excellence, technical hubs and technical advisory facilities. They assist in the cementing and positioning IPPFAR as a leading service provider in Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR). Story by Maryanne W. Waweru, Governance and Compliance Officer, IPPF Africa Region. For more information about the work of IPPF Africa Region, connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

FHOK
news_item

| 25 May 2018

FHOK’s Social Enterprise Model, SMART Care System Lauded by IPPFAR Member Associations

Family Health Options Kenya (FHOK), which is IPPF’s Member Association in Kenya this week played host to a team of Program Directors and Directors of Finance drawn from different Member Associations (MAs) in the Africa region. The Directors are in Nairobi attending a strategic workshop aimed at enhancing their capacity for the improvement of the programmatic, financial and operational management practices of their MAs. During one of their activities, which included the visit to FHOK’s headquarters in Nairobi, the Directors received insights into the different programs that FHOK is currently implementing. With a rich experience spanning over five decades, FHOK is recognized as one of the leading service providers in Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) in Kenya. FHOK has 16 health facilities and 9 youth centers located in different parts of the country. During the learning visit, FHOK shared its experiences in the areas of: clinical services, finance and administration, project implementation, governance, networking, building partnerships, advocacy and human resource. Some of the projects that FHOK is currently implementing include those around the integration of SRHR issues with environmental stability and climate change, mitigating the impact of the Global Gag Rule (GGR) through the social enterprise model, and innovative youth programmes that target both in-school and out-of-school youth. The Directors also toured FHOK’s Nairobi West Family Care Medical Center & Maternity. The center, started in 1999, operates on a 24-hour basis and offers a wide range of in and out-patient services. They include: counselling, family planning, STI treatment and management, HIV services, pre-nantal and post-natal care, maternity services, well baby clinics, gynaecological services, curative services and specialist clinics, among others. The medical center has a well-stocked pharmacy and a well-equipped laboratory. The visiting Directors lauded FHOK for its innovative projects and passion for serving the Kenyan population with quality health services. “Indeed, there is a lot to learn from FHOK. Their intense resource mobilization efforts, that have resulted in funding for several projects is impressive. This is something that other MAs should emulate,” said Mr. Desta Kebede, Program Director at Family Guidance Association of Ethiopia (FGAE). “There is also plenty to learn from FHOK’s social enterprise model, which is fueled by the organization’s desire to shift its focus from traditional revenue streams -to that of using different entrepreneurial methods to create social impact,” he added. The Directors also commended FHOK for its electronic data management system -SMART Care. This is a system that has helped the organization effectively manage its operations such as in logistics, where it is able to use data to forecast and manage commodities. The use of SMART Care has helped the MA avoid cases of stock-outs. The paperless SMART Care system has also benefitted FHOK in the integration of finances and statistics, as well as in the management of human resources at clinic level. “SMART Care has significantly reduced the workload of our service providers when it comes to capturing of essential data in real time, and consequent generation of reports. Through SMART Care, consumer specific reports -MoH, FHOK, IPPF and donor reports are readily generated at the end of each month by our health personnel within a very short time. The system has gone a long way in ensuring quality data and enhancing compliance to reporting timelines within FHOK,” said Ms. Esther Muketo, Director, Resource Mobilization at FHOK. FHOK is also recognized as one of IPPFAR’s Learning Centers. IPPFAR’s Learning Center Initiative (LCI) is aimed at building capacity through its Member Association network by developing and sharing innovative and best practice approaches on Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH). Learning Centers such as FHOK are regarded as centers of excellence, technical hubs and technical advisory facilities. They assist in the cementing and positioning IPPFAR as a leading service provider in Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR). Story by Maryanne W. Waweru, Governance and Compliance Officer, IPPF Africa Region. For more information about the work of IPPF Africa Region, connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

ACHPR Side Event
news item

| 20 April 2018

62nd Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR62)

IPPFAR and RHRN Africa team from 4 countries (Kenya, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Senegal) will be attending the 62nd Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR62) in Noaukchott, Mauritania 22nd April to 9th May 2018. The NGO Forum by the African Centre on Human Rights and Democracy Studies (ACHRDS) will kick off the ACHPR62 and will provide the opportunity to the team to link with other advocates and Human Rights Defenders in Africa to share experiences on various issues including advocacy for SRHR of young people through panel discussions including one on Youth SRHR. IPPFAR and platforms will also hold a side event on the theme “Getting it ‘Right’: Debating the linchpin to fulfilling SRHR of Young People in Africa” to take place on Tuesday, 24th April at Hotel Khaima from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm. The team will share, explore and deliberate with participants on among others, embracing the Rights Approach in Youth SRHR Advocacy and the role of CSOs in pushing for accountability by decision-makers as well as highlight the status of the implementation of the Maputo Protocol in Africa.   

ACHPR Side Event
news_item

| 19 April 2018

62nd Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR62)

IPPFAR and RHRN Africa team from 4 countries (Kenya, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Senegal) will be attending the 62nd Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR62) in Noaukchott, Mauritania 22nd April to 9th May 2018. The NGO Forum by the African Centre on Human Rights and Democracy Studies (ACHRDS) will kick off the ACHPR62 and will provide the opportunity to the team to link with other advocates and Human Rights Defenders in Africa to share experiences on various issues including advocacy for SRHR of young people through panel discussions including one on Youth SRHR. IPPFAR and platforms will also hold a side event on the theme “Getting it ‘Right’: Debating the linchpin to fulfilling SRHR of Young People in Africa” to take place on Tuesday, 24th April at Hotel Khaima from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm. The team will share, explore and deliberate with participants on among others, embracing the Rights Approach in Youth SRHR Advocacy and the role of CSOs in pushing for accountability by decision-makers as well as highlight the status of the implementation of the Maputo Protocol in Africa.   

Bungoma county training
news item

| 24 November 2022

Bridging the knowledge gap on abortion care; addressing & reducing incidence of increased maternal mortality and morbidity

In Kenya, abortion is regulated by article 26(4) of the Constitution which states that: abortion is permitted (and legal) when in the opinion of a trained health professional, there is need for emergency treatment, or the life or health of the mother is in danger, or if permitted by any other written law. Unsafe abortion in Kenya is among the highest in Africa. According to Dr Ann Kihara from the International Federation of Gygaecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) maternal mortality is high at about 6,000 deaths per year and 17% of them are as a result of complications from unsafe abortion. Most of these cases have moderate to severe complications requiring specialized treatment and often have lasting health effects. Despite these statistics, most healthcare providers in Kenya lack comprehensive knowledge on the laws that and access to abortion care, and the skills to effectively assess, recommend and provide abortion care within the constitutional provision. Moreover, existing adverse social cultural and religious beliefs create barriers for effective counseling, assessment, referrals, and provision of life saving comprehensive abortion services. Through the support of the Guttmacher Institute and the International Plan Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR), Reproductive Health Network Kenya (RHNK) conducted a training for private healthcare providers on Comprehensive Abortion Care (CAC) from 17th to 21st October 2022 in Bungoma County, Western Kenya. The training included in depth learning activities and discussions on the legal framework for comprehensive abortion care, consequences of unsafe abortion in Kenya, counselling for post abortion care (PAC), infection prevention, complications and management, counselling for informed decision making in post abortion care and pain management. The main objective of the training was to contribute towards reduction of abortion stigma and creating an enabling environment for quality service provision by private healthcare providers in the County. Beverlynn Juma, a service provider in Misikhu, shared: “Bungoma County has high incidents of unsafe abortions because people are not open about it, so many unsafe abortions go unreported. CAC training will enable most service providers to be open about the fact that they provide safe abortion services, leading to increased awareness of the availability of these services. Reproductive Health Network Kenya in partnership with the county government will improve the state of abortion by enabling girls to be able to go for the procedure freely hence reducing mortality rates’’. From the testimonials shared by Beverly and other healthcare providers in the training; access to safe abortion information in Bungoma County is also limited due to knowledge gaps on the legality of the service and their obligation as providers. Martin Onyango, the Strategic Legal Expert at the Centre for Reproductive Rights Africa Region stated that his hope and wish is that “…the training invokes the desire to offer safe services by providers and equally empower them to be champions and advocates for safe abortion in their county”. The Bungoma County Reproductive Health Coordinator, Mrs. Christine Naliaka expressed her appreciation for the training and partnership between RHNK and the County government of Bungoma, which in her opinion is very timely and said: “there still exists stigma of CAC & PAC services, clients still hide and don’t open up to safe abortion services despite inevitable conditions like miscarriages. Some of the challenges faced by the facilities in provision of abortion services is that the providers don’t display PAC services on their service charters, no financial allocation of PAC/CAC services from the county government, reporting tools are not available in all facilities, and there is no capacity building of the providers”.   She acknowledged the contribution of partners in promoting service access as most clients from Bungoma receive services from private facilities. Christine also recommended support supervision visits after the training to ascertain whether the providers are compliant and giving quality services such as PAC/CAC as an emergency service. She also mentioned that collaborations and partnership between should be deepened to bridge the information gap in service access, and critically partners should work seamlessly with the county structures to provide more information to the public while working on building the capacity of the providers to create a favorable working environment, and stronger continuum of care.  “The training has been successful especially in terms of establishing a network of providers in Bungoma County as well as filling the gaps in terms of skills gap and having necessary knowledge to provide the services. We believe that the providers we have trained will be part of the network for Bungoma County under RHNK umbrella and provide quality services especially to the under-reached population, the youth, adolescents and women in the rural areas.’’ Dr. Wambulwa, Bungoma County Pharmacist. In order to reduce maternal mortality, it is critical that key stakeholders’ intensify preventive promotive SRHR campaigns for right holders’ awareness of their needs. Stakeholders’ should also promote public-private partnership in building the capacity of Health Care Providers in understanding their professional roles and provision of fundamental human rights. “We applaud the County Government of Bungoma, and all the other partnerships and actors who are working continually and untiringly to expand access to abortion care. Almost 90% of abortions in countries with liberal abortion laws are considered safe, compared to only 25% in countries where abortion is banned. This is a serious violation of human rights. Medical abortion has revolutionised access to care and safe abortion, both inside and outside the health system. These advances must be protected, and at IPPF we are committed to expanding the knowledge of and acceptance around abortion care, reducing the number of deaths of women and girls who are forced to turn to unsafe abortion methods,” said Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry, Regional Director of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, Africa Region. The government should prioritize aligning SRHR legal frameworks to create an enabling environment for access to information and healthcare by all. They should ensure increased funds allocation to SRHR including abortion commodities and equipment in both public and private facilities for access to quality and comprehensive SRHR. In conclusion there is need for investment in research for continuous SRHR evidence generation to inform current and future programming centered on the needs of providers, communities and other stakeholders.

Bungoma county training
news_item

| 24 November 2022

Bridging the knowledge gap on abortion care; addressing & reducing incidence of increased maternal mortality and morbidity

In Kenya, abortion is regulated by article 26(4) of the Constitution which states that: abortion is permitted (and legal) when in the opinion of a trained health professional, there is need for emergency treatment, or the life or health of the mother is in danger, or if permitted by any other written law. Unsafe abortion in Kenya is among the highest in Africa. According to Dr Ann Kihara from the International Federation of Gygaecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) maternal mortality is high at about 6,000 deaths per year and 17% of them are as a result of complications from unsafe abortion. Most of these cases have moderate to severe complications requiring specialized treatment and often have lasting health effects. Despite these statistics, most healthcare providers in Kenya lack comprehensive knowledge on the laws that and access to abortion care, and the skills to effectively assess, recommend and provide abortion care within the constitutional provision. Moreover, existing adverse social cultural and religious beliefs create barriers for effective counseling, assessment, referrals, and provision of life saving comprehensive abortion services. Through the support of the Guttmacher Institute and the International Plan Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR), Reproductive Health Network Kenya (RHNK) conducted a training for private healthcare providers on Comprehensive Abortion Care (CAC) from 17th to 21st October 2022 in Bungoma County, Western Kenya. The training included in depth learning activities and discussions on the legal framework for comprehensive abortion care, consequences of unsafe abortion in Kenya, counselling for post abortion care (PAC), infection prevention, complications and management, counselling for informed decision making in post abortion care and pain management. The main objective of the training was to contribute towards reduction of abortion stigma and creating an enabling environment for quality service provision by private healthcare providers in the County. Beverlynn Juma, a service provider in Misikhu, shared: “Bungoma County has high incidents of unsafe abortions because people are not open about it, so many unsafe abortions go unreported. CAC training will enable most service providers to be open about the fact that they provide safe abortion services, leading to increased awareness of the availability of these services. Reproductive Health Network Kenya in partnership with the county government will improve the state of abortion by enabling girls to be able to go for the procedure freely hence reducing mortality rates’’. From the testimonials shared by Beverly and other healthcare providers in the training; access to safe abortion information in Bungoma County is also limited due to knowledge gaps on the legality of the service and their obligation as providers. Martin Onyango, the Strategic Legal Expert at the Centre for Reproductive Rights Africa Region stated that his hope and wish is that “…the training invokes the desire to offer safe services by providers and equally empower them to be champions and advocates for safe abortion in their county”. The Bungoma County Reproductive Health Coordinator, Mrs. Christine Naliaka expressed her appreciation for the training and partnership between RHNK and the County government of Bungoma, which in her opinion is very timely and said: “there still exists stigma of CAC & PAC services, clients still hide and don’t open up to safe abortion services despite inevitable conditions like miscarriages. Some of the challenges faced by the facilities in provision of abortion services is that the providers don’t display PAC services on their service charters, no financial allocation of PAC/CAC services from the county government, reporting tools are not available in all facilities, and there is no capacity building of the providers”.   She acknowledged the contribution of partners in promoting service access as most clients from Bungoma receive services from private facilities. Christine also recommended support supervision visits after the training to ascertain whether the providers are compliant and giving quality services such as PAC/CAC as an emergency service. She also mentioned that collaborations and partnership between should be deepened to bridge the information gap in service access, and critically partners should work seamlessly with the county structures to provide more information to the public while working on building the capacity of the providers to create a favorable working environment, and stronger continuum of care.  “The training has been successful especially in terms of establishing a network of providers in Bungoma County as well as filling the gaps in terms of skills gap and having necessary knowledge to provide the services. We believe that the providers we have trained will be part of the network for Bungoma County under RHNK umbrella and provide quality services especially to the under-reached population, the youth, adolescents and women in the rural areas.’’ Dr. Wambulwa, Bungoma County Pharmacist. In order to reduce maternal mortality, it is critical that key stakeholders’ intensify preventive promotive SRHR campaigns for right holders’ awareness of their needs. Stakeholders’ should also promote public-private partnership in building the capacity of Health Care Providers in understanding their professional roles and provision of fundamental human rights. “We applaud the County Government of Bungoma, and all the other partnerships and actors who are working continually and untiringly to expand access to abortion care. Almost 90% of abortions in countries with liberal abortion laws are considered safe, compared to only 25% in countries where abortion is banned. This is a serious violation of human rights. Medical abortion has revolutionised access to care and safe abortion, both inside and outside the health system. These advances must be protected, and at IPPF we are committed to expanding the knowledge of and acceptance around abortion care, reducing the number of deaths of women and girls who are forced to turn to unsafe abortion methods,” said Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry, Regional Director of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, Africa Region. The government should prioritize aligning SRHR legal frameworks to create an enabling environment for access to information and healthcare by all. They should ensure increased funds allocation to SRHR including abortion commodities and equipment in both public and private facilities for access to quality and comprehensive SRHR. In conclusion there is need for investment in research for continuous SRHR evidence generation to inform current and future programming centered on the needs of providers, communities and other stakeholders.

Haingo-Rabearimonjy
news item

| 06 November 2019

Regional Forum on SRHR Best Practices Among Youth in Francophone Africa

Cotonou, BENIN:  Over 150 youth drawn from the Youth Action Movement (YAM) and other youth organizations from Francophone African countries are gathered in Cotonou, Benin, for the second edition of the regional forum aimed at sharing best practices on Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), especially among adolescents and young people. The youth are drawn from over 20 countries. Discussions at the forum are centered around the identification of effective strategies and responses that have proven successful in advocating for the Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) of adolescents and young people in Africa, and disseminating them to different stakeholders. This year's theme is titled: “Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights for Adolescents and Youth: Government Priority”. The experiences shared, opportunities identified and solutions proposed by the young people at the forum will help inform policy and SRHR programs in the sub-Saharan region, more so Francophone Africa. IPPF Africa Region and its different partners greatly value youth engagement and their direct involvement in the design of and implementation of health programs, especially those pertaining to sexual reproductive health and rights. Their voices and meaningful participation are instrumental in the achievement of improved health outcomes. The regional forum has been organized by the Benin chapter of the Youth Action Movement (YAM), and is supported by the Embassy of Netherlands in Benin and IPPF. Other participants in the forum include representatives from different government ministries, donor agencies, non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations, religious leaders and other stakeholders. The regional forum is timely, taking place ahead of the high-level ICPD25 Summit to be held in Nairobi, Kenya from 12 – 14 November 2019. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) first held in Cairo. At the conference, 179 governments adopted a Programme of Action that underscored that fact that reproductive health, women’s empowerment and gender equality are key to sustainable development. ICPD25 is aimed at mobilizing political will and financial commitments needed to accelerate the full implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action. These commitments will be centered around achieving zero unmet need for family planning information and services, zero preventable maternal deaths, and zero sexual and gender-based violence and harmful practices against women and girls. Story by Maryanne W. Waweru, Governance and Compliance Officer, IPPF Africa Region. For more information about the work of IPPF Africa Region, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Haingo-Rabearimonjy
news_item

| 05 November 2019

Regional Forum on SRHR Best Practices Among Youth in Francophone Africa

Cotonou, BENIN:  Over 150 youth drawn from the Youth Action Movement (YAM) and other youth organizations from Francophone African countries are gathered in Cotonou, Benin, for the second edition of the regional forum aimed at sharing best practices on Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), especially among adolescents and young people. The youth are drawn from over 20 countries. Discussions at the forum are centered around the identification of effective strategies and responses that have proven successful in advocating for the Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) of adolescents and young people in Africa, and disseminating them to different stakeholders. This year's theme is titled: “Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights for Adolescents and Youth: Government Priority”. The experiences shared, opportunities identified and solutions proposed by the young people at the forum will help inform policy and SRHR programs in the sub-Saharan region, more so Francophone Africa. IPPF Africa Region and its different partners greatly value youth engagement and their direct involvement in the design of and implementation of health programs, especially those pertaining to sexual reproductive health and rights. Their voices and meaningful participation are instrumental in the achievement of improved health outcomes. The regional forum has been organized by the Benin chapter of the Youth Action Movement (YAM), and is supported by the Embassy of Netherlands in Benin and IPPF. Other participants in the forum include representatives from different government ministries, donor agencies, non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations, religious leaders and other stakeholders. The regional forum is timely, taking place ahead of the high-level ICPD25 Summit to be held in Nairobi, Kenya from 12 – 14 November 2019. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) first held in Cairo. At the conference, 179 governments adopted a Programme of Action that underscored that fact that reproductive health, women’s empowerment and gender equality are key to sustainable development. ICPD25 is aimed at mobilizing political will and financial commitments needed to accelerate the full implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action. These commitments will be centered around achieving zero unmet need for family planning information and services, zero preventable maternal deaths, and zero sexual and gender-based violence and harmful practices against women and girls. Story by Maryanne W. Waweru, Governance and Compliance Officer, IPPF Africa Region. For more information about the work of IPPF Africa Region, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

FHOK
news item

| 28 May 2018

FHOK’s Social Enterprise Model, SMART Care System Lauded by IPPFAR Member Associations

Family Health Options Kenya (FHOK), which is IPPF’s Member Association in Kenya this week played host to a team of Program Directors and Directors of Finance drawn from different Member Associations (MAs) in the Africa region. The Directors are in Nairobi attending a strategic workshop aimed at enhancing their capacity for the improvement of the programmatic, financial and operational management practices of their MAs. During one of their activities, which included the visit to FHOK’s headquarters in Nairobi, the Directors received insights into the different programs that FHOK is currently implementing. With a rich experience spanning over five decades, FHOK is recognized as one of the leading service providers in Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) in Kenya. FHOK has 16 health facilities and 9 youth centers located in different parts of the country. During the learning visit, FHOK shared its experiences in the areas of: clinical services, finance and administration, project implementation, governance, networking, building partnerships, advocacy and human resource. Some of the projects that FHOK is currently implementing include those around the integration of SRHR issues with environmental stability and climate change, mitigating the impact of the Global Gag Rule (GGR) through the social enterprise model, and innovative youth programmes that target both in-school and out-of-school youth. The Directors also toured FHOK’s Nairobi West Family Care Medical Center & Maternity. The center, started in 1999, operates on a 24-hour basis and offers a wide range of in and out-patient services. They include: counselling, family planning, STI treatment and management, HIV services, pre-nantal and post-natal care, maternity services, well baby clinics, gynaecological services, curative services and specialist clinics, among others. The medical center has a well-stocked pharmacy and a well-equipped laboratory. The visiting Directors lauded FHOK for its innovative projects and passion for serving the Kenyan population with quality health services. “Indeed, there is a lot to learn from FHOK. Their intense resource mobilization efforts, that have resulted in funding for several projects is impressive. This is something that other MAs should emulate,” said Mr. Desta Kebede, Program Director at Family Guidance Association of Ethiopia (FGAE). “There is also plenty to learn from FHOK’s social enterprise model, which is fueled by the organization’s desire to shift its focus from traditional revenue streams -to that of using different entrepreneurial methods to create social impact,” he added. The Directors also commended FHOK for its electronic data management system -SMART Care. This is a system that has helped the organization effectively manage its operations such as in logistics, where it is able to use data to forecast and manage commodities. The use of SMART Care has helped the MA avoid cases of stock-outs. The paperless SMART Care system has also benefitted FHOK in the integration of finances and statistics, as well as in the management of human resources at clinic level. “SMART Care has significantly reduced the workload of our service providers when it comes to capturing of essential data in real time, and consequent generation of reports. Through SMART Care, consumer specific reports -MoH, FHOK, IPPF and donor reports are readily generated at the end of each month by our health personnel within a very short time. The system has gone a long way in ensuring quality data and enhancing compliance to reporting timelines within FHOK,” said Ms. Esther Muketo, Director, Resource Mobilization at FHOK. FHOK is also recognized as one of IPPFAR’s Learning Centers. IPPFAR’s Learning Center Initiative (LCI) is aimed at building capacity through its Member Association network by developing and sharing innovative and best practice approaches on Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH). Learning Centers such as FHOK are regarded as centers of excellence, technical hubs and technical advisory facilities. They assist in the cementing and positioning IPPFAR as a leading service provider in Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR). Story by Maryanne W. Waweru, Governance and Compliance Officer, IPPF Africa Region. For more information about the work of IPPF Africa Region, connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

FHOK
news_item

| 25 May 2018

FHOK’s Social Enterprise Model, SMART Care System Lauded by IPPFAR Member Associations

Family Health Options Kenya (FHOK), which is IPPF’s Member Association in Kenya this week played host to a team of Program Directors and Directors of Finance drawn from different Member Associations (MAs) in the Africa region. The Directors are in Nairobi attending a strategic workshop aimed at enhancing their capacity for the improvement of the programmatic, financial and operational management practices of their MAs. During one of their activities, which included the visit to FHOK’s headquarters in Nairobi, the Directors received insights into the different programs that FHOK is currently implementing. With a rich experience spanning over five decades, FHOK is recognized as one of the leading service providers in Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) in Kenya. FHOK has 16 health facilities and 9 youth centers located in different parts of the country. During the learning visit, FHOK shared its experiences in the areas of: clinical services, finance and administration, project implementation, governance, networking, building partnerships, advocacy and human resource. Some of the projects that FHOK is currently implementing include those around the integration of SRHR issues with environmental stability and climate change, mitigating the impact of the Global Gag Rule (GGR) through the social enterprise model, and innovative youth programmes that target both in-school and out-of-school youth. The Directors also toured FHOK’s Nairobi West Family Care Medical Center & Maternity. The center, started in 1999, operates on a 24-hour basis and offers a wide range of in and out-patient services. They include: counselling, family planning, STI treatment and management, HIV services, pre-nantal and post-natal care, maternity services, well baby clinics, gynaecological services, curative services and specialist clinics, among others. The medical center has a well-stocked pharmacy and a well-equipped laboratory. The visiting Directors lauded FHOK for its innovative projects and passion for serving the Kenyan population with quality health services. “Indeed, there is a lot to learn from FHOK. Their intense resource mobilization efforts, that have resulted in funding for several projects is impressive. This is something that other MAs should emulate,” said Mr. Desta Kebede, Program Director at Family Guidance Association of Ethiopia (FGAE). “There is also plenty to learn from FHOK’s social enterprise model, which is fueled by the organization’s desire to shift its focus from traditional revenue streams -to that of using different entrepreneurial methods to create social impact,” he added. The Directors also commended FHOK for its electronic data management system -SMART Care. This is a system that has helped the organization effectively manage its operations such as in logistics, where it is able to use data to forecast and manage commodities. The use of SMART Care has helped the MA avoid cases of stock-outs. The paperless SMART Care system has also benefitted FHOK in the integration of finances and statistics, as well as in the management of human resources at clinic level. “SMART Care has significantly reduced the workload of our service providers when it comes to capturing of essential data in real time, and consequent generation of reports. Through SMART Care, consumer specific reports -MoH, FHOK, IPPF and donor reports are readily generated at the end of each month by our health personnel within a very short time. The system has gone a long way in ensuring quality data and enhancing compliance to reporting timelines within FHOK,” said Ms. Esther Muketo, Director, Resource Mobilization at FHOK. FHOK is also recognized as one of IPPFAR’s Learning Centers. IPPFAR’s Learning Center Initiative (LCI) is aimed at building capacity through its Member Association network by developing and sharing innovative and best practice approaches on Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH). Learning Centers such as FHOK are regarded as centers of excellence, technical hubs and technical advisory facilities. They assist in the cementing and positioning IPPFAR as a leading service provider in Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR). Story by Maryanne W. Waweru, Governance and Compliance Officer, IPPF Africa Region. For more information about the work of IPPF Africa Region, connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

ACHPR Side Event
news item

| 20 April 2018

62nd Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR62)

IPPFAR and RHRN Africa team from 4 countries (Kenya, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Senegal) will be attending the 62nd Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR62) in Noaukchott, Mauritania 22nd April to 9th May 2018. The NGO Forum by the African Centre on Human Rights and Democracy Studies (ACHRDS) will kick off the ACHPR62 and will provide the opportunity to the team to link with other advocates and Human Rights Defenders in Africa to share experiences on various issues including advocacy for SRHR of young people through panel discussions including one on Youth SRHR. IPPFAR and platforms will also hold a side event on the theme “Getting it ‘Right’: Debating the linchpin to fulfilling SRHR of Young People in Africa” to take place on Tuesday, 24th April at Hotel Khaima from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm. The team will share, explore and deliberate with participants on among others, embracing the Rights Approach in Youth SRHR Advocacy and the role of CSOs in pushing for accountability by decision-makers as well as highlight the status of the implementation of the Maputo Protocol in Africa.   

ACHPR Side Event
news_item

| 19 April 2018

62nd Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR62)

IPPFAR and RHRN Africa team from 4 countries (Kenya, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Senegal) will be attending the 62nd Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR62) in Noaukchott, Mauritania 22nd April to 9th May 2018. The NGO Forum by the African Centre on Human Rights and Democracy Studies (ACHRDS) will kick off the ACHPR62 and will provide the opportunity to the team to link with other advocates and Human Rights Defenders in Africa to share experiences on various issues including advocacy for SRHR of young people through panel discussions including one on Youth SRHR. IPPFAR and platforms will also hold a side event on the theme “Getting it ‘Right’: Debating the linchpin to fulfilling SRHR of Young People in Africa” to take place on Tuesday, 24th April at Hotel Khaima from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm. The team will share, explore and deliberate with participants on among others, embracing the Rights Approach in Youth SRHR Advocacy and the role of CSOs in pushing for accountability by decision-makers as well as highlight the status of the implementation of the Maputo Protocol in Africa.