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ippf
news item

| 13 January 2022

The IPPF Africa Regional Sub-Office to the African Union and the United Nations Economic Commission in Africa (IPPF AUSO) launches policy papers on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR)

UHC means that all individuals and communities receive the health services and care they need without suffering financial hardship. It includes the full spectrum of essential, quality health services, from health promotion to prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and palliative care, and comprises an explicit commitment to provide sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services for all, as agreed in the UHC Political Declaration adopted in 2019.  However, SRH services and rights are not adequately prioritized in UHC. It is in this context that the IPPF AUSO, in collaboration with the Gender is my Agenda Campaign (GIMAC) network will launch a policy review and position paper on UHC and SRHR on 11th October, 2021, from 16:00 – 17:00 hrs (GMT+3) during the network’s consultative meeting with the African Union (AU)  and Regional Economic Communities (RECS) on the AU theme of the Year, “Arts, Culture, and Heritage: Levers for Building the Africa We Want”.     The COVID-19 crisis calls for re-examining the continent’s socio-economic priorities, contributing to building stronger and more resilient health and social sectors, towards equality and inclusion, which are at the heart of the African philosophy of Ubuntu.   This launch will provide a platform to generate discourse and build political support for UHC and SRHR at national, regional and global level, as countries seek to mitigate the devasting economic, social, health, and financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the continent. The launch will be facilitated by advocates and experts drawn from regional Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and  UN  organizations. Reflections will be centred around key themes including advocacy, health systems strengthening, meaningful youth engagement, data and evidence building for inclusion of SRHR in UHC Please register on the link below to participate: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_yDXnJhjjRgOPERpOyw0ARA

ippf
news_item

| 11 October 2021

The IPPF Africa Regional Sub-Office to the African Union and the United Nations Economic Commission in Africa (IPPF AUSO) launches policy papers on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR)

UHC means that all individuals and communities receive the health services and care they need without suffering financial hardship. It includes the full spectrum of essential, quality health services, from health promotion to prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and palliative care, and comprises an explicit commitment to provide sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services for all, as agreed in the UHC Political Declaration adopted in 2019.  However, SRH services and rights are not adequately prioritized in UHC. It is in this context that the IPPF AUSO, in collaboration with the Gender is my Agenda Campaign (GIMAC) network will launch a policy review and position paper on UHC and SRHR on 11th October, 2021, from 16:00 – 17:00 hrs (GMT+3) during the network’s consultative meeting with the African Union (AU)  and Regional Economic Communities (RECS) on the AU theme of the Year, “Arts, Culture, and Heritage: Levers for Building the Africa We Want”.     The COVID-19 crisis calls for re-examining the continent’s socio-economic priorities, contributing to building stronger and more resilient health and social sectors, towards equality and inclusion, which are at the heart of the African philosophy of Ubuntu.   This launch will provide a platform to generate discourse and build political support for UHC and SRHR at national, regional and global level, as countries seek to mitigate the devasting economic, social, health, and financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the continent. The launch will be facilitated by advocates and experts drawn from regional Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and  UN  organizations. Reflections will be centred around key themes including advocacy, health systems strengthening, meaningful youth engagement, data and evidence building for inclusion of SRHR in UHC Please register on the link below to participate: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_yDXnJhjjRgOPERpOyw0ARA

abortion care
news item

| 13 January 2022

How Women’s Access to Safe Abortion will Change in the Next Five Years

Numbers don’t lie: Between 2015 and 2019, on average, 73.3 million induced (safe and unsafe) abortions occurred worldwide each year. Every year, between 4.7% – 13.2% of maternal deaths can be attributed to unsafe abortion. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines unsafe abortion as a procedure for terminating an unwanted pregnancy either by persons lacking the necessary skills or in an environment lacking minimal medical standards or both. Unsafe abortions result in the deaths of 47,000 women every year and leaves millions temporarily or permanently disabled[1]. In Africa, nearly half of all abortions happen in the least safe circumstances. Moreover, mortality from unsafe abortion disproportionately affects women in Africa. While the continent accounts for 29% of all unsafe abortions, it sees 62% of unsafe abortion-related deaths (WHO). An estimated 93% of women of reproductive age in Africa live in countries with restrictive abortion laws. This means that the country’s laws only permit abortion in certain cases, often only if there is risk to the woman’s life, her health, the pregnancy is the result of rape, or there is evidence of foetal impairment. The costs of treating medical complications from unsafe abortion constitute a significant financial burden for developing countries’ public health care systems. Further, the more restrictive the legal setting, the higher the proportion of unsafe abortions. Statistics from unsafe abortions give us a glimpse into the suffering women must endure to end an unwanted pregnancy. We must challenge, re-evaluate different countries’ positions on the provision of life-saving safe-abortion care. We must advocate for changes in laws and policies and push-for the uptake of targeted and budgeted approaches that reach women and girls with safe abortion and contraception services wherever they are. IPPF and other key stakeholders are working towards ensuring that in the next five years, more women and girls will access abortion services differently, as the solutions to terminate a pregnancy will be more easily understood and available through self-managed medical abortion. This new approach promises to radically transform how health care is perceived and accessed by firmly placing women and girls at the centre of the abortion process; shifting the power dynamic from a medicalized and provider-led/decided approach to one that is person-centred and guarantees bodily autonomy. Where women can take control of their bodies and decide when and if to have children; whilst being supported by the healthcare system if needed. Also Read: Safe abortion in the context of COVID-19: partnership, dialogue and digital innovation This approach has been endorsed by WHO and is detailed within the newly released self-care guidelines. Several studies  have confirmed that self-managed abortion is safe, effective, and not inferior to those performed in clinical settings. A recent WHO review revealed that 94–96% of self-managed abortions had similar success rates to those conducted in clinic-based settings. In fact, 90% of clients confirmed they would recommend self-managed medical abortion. As local and global actors working for women’s health, rights and bodily autonomy, we must champion and roll out such new models and approaches that uphold, protect and champion women’s health, sexual rights and reproductive justice. Last July, IPPF joined global actors at the Generation Equality Forum to define and announce ambitious investments and policies for women and girls worldwide. Among our bold commitments, was a resolve to “expand and improve the provision of abortion care through 102 Member Associations, including quality medical and surgical abortion, person-centered abortion self-care support, and abortion care beyond 12 weeks of gestation through a simplified outpatient model using task-shifting to mid-level providers, including self-managed medical abortion.” This is a bold pledge that cannot depend on IPPF alone. It is critical if we are to reach the target of making the self-management of abortion a reality by 2026. Among others, IPPF calls upon the global ecosystem; feminist movements and civil-society organisations to continue to counter the multiple barriers i.e., legal, cultural, social and religious, that impede women from accessing safe abortion freely. Also Read: Abortion Quality of Care from the Client Perspective: a Qualitative Study in India and Kenya IPPF also calls upon policy and decision-makers to uphold their sexual reproductive health and rights (SRHR) commitments and repeal laws and policies that prevent safe abortion. We ask donors to invest in commodities and essential supplies, service delivery partners and prioritize research that promotes this approach. We also urge local and national stakeholders and service providers to embrace this new approach by encouraging, providing and supporting the integration of new models of abortion service delivery within existing clinic-based services. Self-care is not a magic bullet, and neither will this radical change happen by chance. It takes all of us to make it happen. This is not just a question of access. It is a fundamental question of freedom, empowerment, and bodily autonomy. Read more about The Global Comprehensive Abortion Care Initiative (GCACI). By Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry, Regional Director, International Planned Parenthood Federation, Africa Region (IPPFAR). Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry is the Regional Director of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, Africa Region (IPPFAR). The International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR) is one of the leading providers of quality sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services in Africa and a leading sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) advocacy voice in the region.   For more updates on our work, follow IPPF Africa Region on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and You Tube.

abortion care
news_item

| 29 September 2021

How Women’s Access to Safe Abortion will Change in the Next Five Years

Numbers don’t lie: Between 2015 and 2019, on average, 73.3 million induced (safe and unsafe) abortions occurred worldwide each year. Every year, between 4.7% – 13.2% of maternal deaths can be attributed to unsafe abortion. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines unsafe abortion as a procedure for terminating an unwanted pregnancy either by persons lacking the necessary skills or in an environment lacking minimal medical standards or both. Unsafe abortions result in the deaths of 47,000 women every year and leaves millions temporarily or permanently disabled[1]. In Africa, nearly half of all abortions happen in the least safe circumstances. Moreover, mortality from unsafe abortion disproportionately affects women in Africa. While the continent accounts for 29% of all unsafe abortions, it sees 62% of unsafe abortion-related deaths (WHO). An estimated 93% of women of reproductive age in Africa live in countries with restrictive abortion laws. This means that the country’s laws only permit abortion in certain cases, often only if there is risk to the woman’s life, her health, the pregnancy is the result of rape, or there is evidence of foetal impairment. The costs of treating medical complications from unsafe abortion constitute a significant financial burden for developing countries’ public health care systems. Further, the more restrictive the legal setting, the higher the proportion of unsafe abortions. Statistics from unsafe abortions give us a glimpse into the suffering women must endure to end an unwanted pregnancy. We must challenge, re-evaluate different countries’ positions on the provision of life-saving safe-abortion care. We must advocate for changes in laws and policies and push-for the uptake of targeted and budgeted approaches that reach women and girls with safe abortion and contraception services wherever they are. IPPF and other key stakeholders are working towards ensuring that in the next five years, more women and girls will access abortion services differently, as the solutions to terminate a pregnancy will be more easily understood and available through self-managed medical abortion. This new approach promises to radically transform how health care is perceived and accessed by firmly placing women and girls at the centre of the abortion process; shifting the power dynamic from a medicalized and provider-led/decided approach to one that is person-centred and guarantees bodily autonomy. Where women can take control of their bodies and decide when and if to have children; whilst being supported by the healthcare system if needed. Also Read: Safe abortion in the context of COVID-19: partnership, dialogue and digital innovation This approach has been endorsed by WHO and is detailed within the newly released self-care guidelines. Several studies  have confirmed that self-managed abortion is safe, effective, and not inferior to those performed in clinical settings. A recent WHO review revealed that 94–96% of self-managed abortions had similar success rates to those conducted in clinic-based settings. In fact, 90% of clients confirmed they would recommend self-managed medical abortion. As local and global actors working for women’s health, rights and bodily autonomy, we must champion and roll out such new models and approaches that uphold, protect and champion women’s health, sexual rights and reproductive justice. Last July, IPPF joined global actors at the Generation Equality Forum to define and announce ambitious investments and policies for women and girls worldwide. Among our bold commitments, was a resolve to “expand and improve the provision of abortion care through 102 Member Associations, including quality medical and surgical abortion, person-centered abortion self-care support, and abortion care beyond 12 weeks of gestation through a simplified outpatient model using task-shifting to mid-level providers, including self-managed medical abortion.” This is a bold pledge that cannot depend on IPPF alone. It is critical if we are to reach the target of making the self-management of abortion a reality by 2026. Among others, IPPF calls upon the global ecosystem; feminist movements and civil-society organisations to continue to counter the multiple barriers i.e., legal, cultural, social and religious, that impede women from accessing safe abortion freely. Also Read: Abortion Quality of Care from the Client Perspective: a Qualitative Study in India and Kenya IPPF also calls upon policy and decision-makers to uphold their sexual reproductive health and rights (SRHR) commitments and repeal laws and policies that prevent safe abortion. We ask donors to invest in commodities and essential supplies, service delivery partners and prioritize research that promotes this approach. We also urge local and national stakeholders and service providers to embrace this new approach by encouraging, providing and supporting the integration of new models of abortion service delivery within existing clinic-based services. Self-care is not a magic bullet, and neither will this radical change happen by chance. It takes all of us to make it happen. This is not just a question of access. It is a fundamental question of freedom, empowerment, and bodily autonomy. Read more about The Global Comprehensive Abortion Care Initiative (GCACI). By Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry, Regional Director, International Planned Parenthood Federation, Africa Region (IPPFAR). Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry is the Regional Director of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, Africa Region (IPPFAR). The International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR) is one of the leading providers of quality sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services in Africa and a leading sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) advocacy voice in the region.   For more updates on our work, follow IPPF Africa Region on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and You Tube.

Generation Equality Forum
news item

| 06 July 2021

IPPF announces new commitments to Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) at the Generation Equality Forum

The Generation Equality Forum (GEF) is a global multi-stakeholder platform to reignite the worldwide commitment for gender equality, convened by UN Women and the governments of Mexico and France. The Forum kicked off in Mexico City, Mexico, on 29 – 31 March 2021, and culminated in Paris, France, on 30 June – 2 July 2021, with the aim of securing a set of concrete, ambitious, and transformative commitments to achieve irreversible progress towards gender equality; bringing together governments, civil society organizations, young people-led organizations, the private sector and foundations to define and announce ambitious investments and policies on a range of priority areas, from climate change to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), gender-based violence, feminist movements, technology and economic justice.   IPPF is proud to be one of the co-leads of the Action Coalition on Bodily Autonomy & SRHR, which aims to:  Expand access to comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) in and out of school  Increase qualitative access to contraception  Empower all people, including adolescents and women, in all their diversity to make autonomous choices about their bodies, sexuality and reproduction  Strengthen girls, women’s and feminist organizations and networks to promote and protect bodily autonomy and SRHR.  IPPF has joined the two collective commitments of this Action Coalition on abortion and CSE.  IPPF’s individual commitment at GEF  By 2026, IPPF commits to work to accelerate universal access to safe abortion care centered on three principles – rights-based, reproductive justice and gender transformative – with a focus on the following strategies:   Expand and improve the provision of abortion care through 102 Member Associations, including quality medical and surgical abortion, person-centered abortion self-care support, and abortion care beyond 12 weeks of gestation through a simplified outpatient model using task-shifting to mid-level providers, including self-managed medical abortion.   Fully integrate abortion care into humanitarian preparedness and response as full realization of SRHR, with all IPPF emergency responses providing abortion care as a standard part of the Minimum Initial Service Package (MISP).  Advocate for the decriminalization of abortion and the removal of coercive policies and legislation on abortion in 25 countries, and advocate to donor governments and agencies to remove restrictions preventing work and dialogue on abortion, including the permanent repeal of the Global Gag Rule.  IPPF is also pleased to announce that it will be working with the Governments of Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands to help realize universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights and CSE.   IPPF’s Director-General, Dr Alvaro Bermejo, said:  “Since Beijing, progress has been made towards gender equality, yet not a single country can claim to have achieved it. It’s simple; women and girls cannot wait any longer to live a life free from discrimination, free from gender-based violence and free from harmful patriarchal gender norms – we must replace rhetoric with meaningful action. "As co-leaders of the Action Coalition on Bodily Autonomy and SRHR, we are convinced that you cannot achieve gender equality without SRHR, and urge that it be at the center of policies and decision-making processes. IPPF, alongside its partners and Member Associations, will turn our commitments into meaningful action that accelerates our shared goal of achieving gender equality.”  IPPF’s Global Advocacy Director, Anamaria Bejar, added:  “Women and girls cannot afford more broken promises. Now is the time to renew our determination to make the Beijing Platform for Action a reality for every woman and girl in the world, to live with dignity and reach their full potential. That is why IPPF wholeheartedly support the Generation Equality Forum and what it stands for. Together, we can meaningfully work towards gender equality in our lifetime.”  Fore more details about IPPF's commitments at GEF, click here. Follow IPPF Africa Region on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and You Tube.

Generation Equality Forum
news_item

| 06 July 2021

IPPF announces new commitments to Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) at the Generation Equality Forum

The Generation Equality Forum (GEF) is a global multi-stakeholder platform to reignite the worldwide commitment for gender equality, convened by UN Women and the governments of Mexico and France. The Forum kicked off in Mexico City, Mexico, on 29 – 31 March 2021, and culminated in Paris, France, on 30 June – 2 July 2021, with the aim of securing a set of concrete, ambitious, and transformative commitments to achieve irreversible progress towards gender equality; bringing together governments, civil society organizations, young people-led organizations, the private sector and foundations to define and announce ambitious investments and policies on a range of priority areas, from climate change to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), gender-based violence, feminist movements, technology and economic justice.   IPPF is proud to be one of the co-leads of the Action Coalition on Bodily Autonomy & SRHR, which aims to:  Expand access to comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) in and out of school  Increase qualitative access to contraception  Empower all people, including adolescents and women, in all their diversity to make autonomous choices about their bodies, sexuality and reproduction  Strengthen girls, women’s and feminist organizations and networks to promote and protect bodily autonomy and SRHR.  IPPF has joined the two collective commitments of this Action Coalition on abortion and CSE.  IPPF’s individual commitment at GEF  By 2026, IPPF commits to work to accelerate universal access to safe abortion care centered on three principles – rights-based, reproductive justice and gender transformative – with a focus on the following strategies:   Expand and improve the provision of abortion care through 102 Member Associations, including quality medical and surgical abortion, person-centered abortion self-care support, and abortion care beyond 12 weeks of gestation through a simplified outpatient model using task-shifting to mid-level providers, including self-managed medical abortion.   Fully integrate abortion care into humanitarian preparedness and response as full realization of SRHR, with all IPPF emergency responses providing abortion care as a standard part of the Minimum Initial Service Package (MISP).  Advocate for the decriminalization of abortion and the removal of coercive policies and legislation on abortion in 25 countries, and advocate to donor governments and agencies to remove restrictions preventing work and dialogue on abortion, including the permanent repeal of the Global Gag Rule.  IPPF is also pleased to announce that it will be working with the Governments of Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands to help realize universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights and CSE.   IPPF’s Director-General, Dr Alvaro Bermejo, said:  “Since Beijing, progress has been made towards gender equality, yet not a single country can claim to have achieved it. It’s simple; women and girls cannot wait any longer to live a life free from discrimination, free from gender-based violence and free from harmful patriarchal gender norms – we must replace rhetoric with meaningful action. "As co-leaders of the Action Coalition on Bodily Autonomy and SRHR, we are convinced that you cannot achieve gender equality without SRHR, and urge that it be at the center of policies and decision-making processes. IPPF, alongside its partners and Member Associations, will turn our commitments into meaningful action that accelerates our shared goal of achieving gender equality.”  IPPF’s Global Advocacy Director, Anamaria Bejar, added:  “Women and girls cannot afford more broken promises. Now is the time to renew our determination to make the Beijing Platform for Action a reality for every woman and girl in the world, to live with dignity and reach their full potential. That is why IPPF wholeheartedly support the Generation Equality Forum and what it stands for. Together, we can meaningfully work towards gender equality in our lifetime.”  Fore more details about IPPF's commitments at GEF, click here. Follow IPPF Africa Region on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and You Tube.

MSF International Activity Report Illustration image
news item

| 29 June 2021

The International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region is utterly shocked at the killing of three MSF staff members in Tigray, Ethiopia

Nairobi, 28 June 2021 - The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) joins Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) and the entire humanitarian community in strongly condemning the killing of three MSF humanitarian workers in Tigray, Ethiopia. IPPFAR is deeply shocked and horrified after receiving confirmation of the murder of Maria Hernandez, Yohannes Halefom Reda and Tedros Gebremariam Gebremichael on 25 June 2021 in Tigray. “The murder of humanitarian workers is an unacceptable and heinous violation of International Humanitarian Law. No words can convey the shock and outrage resulting from these appalling acts, and the perpetrators must be found and held accountable”, said Alvaro Bermejo, IPPF Director General. “Humanitarian and health workers must never be targeted, and security forces have an obligation to protect and respect our colleagues delivering services in conflict areas and elsewhere”, added Bermejo. IPPFAR stands in solidarity with the entire humanitarian community in conveying its deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of the victims. END   Media Contacts: -Mahmoud Garga, Lead Specialist - Strategic Communication, Media Relations and Digital Campaigning, IPPF Africa Regional Office (IPPFARO) – email: [email protected] -Phone +254 704 626 920 Maryanne Wanyama, Communications Officer, IPPFARO, Nairobi (Kenya) - Email: [email protected] 

MSF International Activity Report Illustration image
news_item

| 29 June 2021

The International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region is utterly shocked at the killing of three MSF staff members in Tigray, Ethiopia

Nairobi, 28 June 2021 - The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) joins Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) and the entire humanitarian community in strongly condemning the killing of three MSF humanitarian workers in Tigray, Ethiopia. IPPFAR is deeply shocked and horrified after receiving confirmation of the murder of Maria Hernandez, Yohannes Halefom Reda and Tedros Gebremariam Gebremichael on 25 June 2021 in Tigray. “The murder of humanitarian workers is an unacceptable and heinous violation of International Humanitarian Law. No words can convey the shock and outrage resulting from these appalling acts, and the perpetrators must be found and held accountable”, said Alvaro Bermejo, IPPF Director General. “Humanitarian and health workers must never be targeted, and security forces have an obligation to protect and respect our colleagues delivering services in conflict areas and elsewhere”, added Bermejo. IPPFAR stands in solidarity with the entire humanitarian community in conveying its deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of the victims. END   Media Contacts: -Mahmoud Garga, Lead Specialist - Strategic Communication, Media Relations and Digital Campaigning, IPPF Africa Regional Office (IPPFARO) – email: [email protected] -Phone +254 704 626 920 Maryanne Wanyama, Communications Officer, IPPFARO, Nairobi (Kenya) - Email: [email protected] 

Adapting family planning services in time of crisis introduction
news item

| 28 June 2021

Adapting family planning services in time of crisis: Innovations by the IPPF Africa Region Member Associations

  On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. The impact of the pandemic would be felt across the world in all sectors, including health, where major disruptions were witnessed. Access to basic health information and services, including sexual reproductive health (SRH) information and services became constrained owing to various government-led protective directives such as restrictions on movement, lockdowns and curfews. The pandemic also put a strain on IPPF Member Associations (MAs) across the world. MAs are IPPF affiliated locally owned health organizations which provide a wide range of sexual reproductive health information and services. The pandemic saw many MAs cut down on their services, with some having to shut down completely or suspend some of their operations in their static clinics, community-based outlets and mobile outreach services. Surveys conducted by the IPPF Africa Region in April and June 2020 to establish the impact of Covid 19 on its MAs established that a total of 1,405 service delivery points (SDPs) were reported to have been closed during round 1 of the survey while 2,161 SDPs were closed during round 2 out of the 13,049 service delivery points reported in 2019. 447 mobile clinics were also shut down. These disruptions affected people’s access to the essential sexual reproductive healthcare services provided in our MA facilities, such as family planning services, sexually transmitted infections services, maternal and child health services, among others. Young people were no longer able to congregate at the youth-friendly centers where they would access SRH information and services. This called for innovation on the part of IPPF in ensuring that the populations, especially the vulnerable and marginalized, continued accessing SRH services. Various partners came on board to mitigate the gap occasioned by COVID-19 by providing various resources for this, including financial resources. These donors included Global Affairs Canada (GAC), Levi Strauss Foundation and Danida. The Danida grant for COVID-19 was disbursed to 45 IPPF MAs in the Africa region and was geared towards filling the gap created by the pandemic by ensuring there was continued SRH service delivery despite the challenges. The interventions facilitated by these grants have yielded commendable results, as more than 100 million SRH services were reported in the Africa Region - mostly women, girls, the vulnerable and hard-to-reach populations have been able to access SRH information and services. The range of services, offered by the MAs in partnership with government agencies and development partners in the private sector, included ante-natal and post-natal care, childbirth services, family planning services, STI treatment and management services, Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) for the young people, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) services. In a series of five case studies, we highlight some innovations and adaptations developed by IPPF Africa Region MAs, that enabled thousands of their target populations to continue accessing quality and affordable sexual reproductive health and rights (SRHR) information and services amidst the pandemic. Cameroun: Adopting a Home-based Service Delivery Approach Nigeria: Establishing Digital Health Interventions Zambia: Training Women on Self-Managed Care for Contraception Benin: Bringing Comprehensive Sexuality Education Online Sao Tome: A Clinic on Wheels 

Adapting family planning services in time of crisis introduction
news_item

| 28 June 2021

Adapting family planning services in time of crisis: Innovations by the IPPF Africa Region Member Associations

  On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. The impact of the pandemic would be felt across the world in all sectors, including health, where major disruptions were witnessed. Access to basic health information and services, including sexual reproductive health (SRH) information and services became constrained owing to various government-led protective directives such as restrictions on movement, lockdowns and curfews. The pandemic also put a strain on IPPF Member Associations (MAs) across the world. MAs are IPPF affiliated locally owned health organizations which provide a wide range of sexual reproductive health information and services. The pandemic saw many MAs cut down on their services, with some having to shut down completely or suspend some of their operations in their static clinics, community-based outlets and mobile outreach services. Surveys conducted by the IPPF Africa Region in April and June 2020 to establish the impact of Covid 19 on its MAs established that a total of 1,405 service delivery points (SDPs) were reported to have been closed during round 1 of the survey while 2,161 SDPs were closed during round 2 out of the 13,049 service delivery points reported in 2019. 447 mobile clinics were also shut down. These disruptions affected people’s access to the essential sexual reproductive healthcare services provided in our MA facilities, such as family planning services, sexually transmitted infections services, maternal and child health services, among others. Young people were no longer able to congregate at the youth-friendly centers where they would access SRH information and services. This called for innovation on the part of IPPF in ensuring that the populations, especially the vulnerable and marginalized, continued accessing SRH services. Various partners came on board to mitigate the gap occasioned by COVID-19 by providing various resources for this, including financial resources. These donors included Global Affairs Canada (GAC), Levi Strauss Foundation and Danida. The Danida grant for COVID-19 was disbursed to 45 IPPF MAs in the Africa region and was geared towards filling the gap created by the pandemic by ensuring there was continued SRH service delivery despite the challenges. The interventions facilitated by these grants have yielded commendable results, as more than 100 million SRH services were reported in the Africa Region - mostly women, girls, the vulnerable and hard-to-reach populations have been able to access SRH information and services. The range of services, offered by the MAs in partnership with government agencies and development partners in the private sector, included ante-natal and post-natal care, childbirth services, family planning services, STI treatment and management services, Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) for the young people, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) services. In a series of five case studies, we highlight some innovations and adaptations developed by IPPF Africa Region MAs, that enabled thousands of their target populations to continue accessing quality and affordable sexual reproductive health and rights (SRHR) information and services amidst the pandemic. Cameroun: Adopting a Home-based Service Delivery Approach Nigeria: Establishing Digital Health Interventions Zambia: Training Women on Self-Managed Care for Contraception Benin: Bringing Comprehensive Sexuality Education Online Sao Tome: A Clinic on Wheels 

IPPF regional and youth forums
news item

| 26 June 2021

The International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region holds its first Youth and Regional Forums

Nairobi, 25 June 2021 - The International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR) held its first ever Youth Forum and Regional Forum from 22 to 25 June 2021. The forums, which took place virtually, were attended by over 120 participants drawn from 39 countries across the region. Participants included representatives from the Youth Action Movement (YAM) - the youth arm of IPPF Africa Region's volunteer body based within the Member Associations (MAs) -, Executive Directors from MAs in the Africa Region, MA Board Presidents, the IPPF Director General, the IPPF Board of Trustees, and the Africa Regional Secretariat staff. The Youth Forum and the Regional Forum, which are the first-ever forums to be held within the Federation in line with the new IPPF governance reforms of November 2019, were aimed at fostering collaboration, sharing experiences, successes, challenges and best practices among IPPFAR’s MAs. In November 2019, IPPF overhauled its governance and resource allocation system to address concerns of its MAs, donors and other stakeholders. The reforms resulted in the adoption of an MA-centric approach aimed at strengthening MAs and making them more efficient, effective, and accountable. In his keynote speech, the IPPF Director General, Dr. Alvaro Bermejo, noted the resilience that MAs had demonstrated in delivering on their core mandate; that of providing quality sexual reproductive health (SRH) services to poor and vulnerable populations in sub-Saharan Africa. “The unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic placed tremendous strain on healthcare systems globally, and I commend our Member Associations for their continued efforts to offer much-needed SRH services to those who need them”, said Bermejo. In 2020, MAs in the Africa region provided a total number of 105,429,716 sexual reproductive health services. These included 56,670,238 family planning services, 1,783,523 safe abortion services and 1,939,051 Gender-Based Violence (GBV) services. Women received 89% of the services provided, while young people accounted for 55% of the total SRH services provided. Notably, and despite the challenging COVID-19 circumstances, the Africa Region provided 14,6 million couple-year protection (CYP) - its highest volume ever achieved – which is the  estimated protection provided by contraceptive methods, based upon the volume of all contraceptives sold or distributed free of charge to clients during the year[1]. In light of the rapidly changing political and financial context in which MAs have had to and must continue to deliver lifesaving services, some of the successful adaptive strategies they have implemented included innovations in health service delivery such as home-based service delivery in Cameroon, self-managed contraception care in Zambia, and the adoption of Digital Health Strategies in the form of online Comprehensive Sexuality Education in Benin, or the use of different social media platforms for SRH information and services in Nigeria.  With young people at the heart of IPPF’s work, the IPPF Africa Regional Director Marie-Evelyne Pétrus-Barry emphasized the role of this invaluable group. “In our organization, we have embraced young people as partners, and they are at the core of our global strategy and business plan. We highly value youth involvement across all areas of our work, including in our governance structures. We benefit from their ideas and contributions, with many of our achievements being significantly contributed by them,” she said in a speech delivered on her behalf by Mr. Sam Ntelamo, the Acting Regional Director. Young people attending the forum also lauded IPPFAR for their inclusion in its operations. “There is nothing about us without us, and as young people, IPPFAR continues to exemplify this. Through the MAs, the organization has provided us with safe spaces to discuss our issues and youth-friendly clinics where we comfortably seek sensitive services in a comfortable manner. We are also involved in making programme decisions and implementing them. As young people, we feel appreciated,” said Marian Pleasant Kargbo, YAM President in Sierra Leone. The first-ever IPPFAR Youth and Regional forums presented a great opportunity for all participants to collectively discuss and learn about how to diversify their funding base while strengthening their networks and partnerships across all levels for the benefit of the people we serve.   Media Contacts: - Mahmoud Garga, Lead Specialist - Strategic Communication, Media Relations and Digital Campaigning, IPPF Africa Regional Office (IPPFARO) – email: [email protected] -Phone +254 704 626 920 - Maryanne Wanyama, Communications Officer, IPPFARO, Nairobi (Kenya) - Email: [email protected]  ABOUT IPPF AFRICA REGION (IPPFAR) The International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR) is the leading sexual and reproductive health (SRH) service delivery organization in Africa, and the leading sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) advocacy voice in the region. Headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, the overarching goal of IPPFAR is to increase access to SRHR services to the most vulnerable youth, men and women in sub-Saharan Africa. Supported by thousands of volunteers, IPPFAR tackles the continent’s growing SRHR challenges through a network of Member Associations (MAs) in 39 countries. We do this by developing our MAs into efficient entities with the capacity to deliver and sustain high-quality, youth-focused and gender-sensitive services. We work with governments, the African Union, Regional Economic Commissions, the Pan-African Parliament, United Nations bodies among others to expand political and financial commitments to sexual and reproductive health and rights in Africa. Learn more about us on our website. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and You Tube.   [1] The CYP is calculated by multiplying the quantity of each method distributed to clients by a conversion factor, to yield an estimate of the duration of contraceptive protection provided per unit of that method. The CYP for each method is then summed for all methods to obtain a total CYP figure. CYP conversion factors are based on how a method is used, failure rates, wastage, and how many units of the method are typically needed to provide one year of contraceptive protection for a couple. The calculation takes into account that some methods, like condoms and oral contraceptives, for example, maybe used incorrectly and then discarded, or that IUDs and implants may be removed before their life span is realized. The term "CYP" reflects distribution and is a way to estimate coverage and not actual use or impact. The CYP calculation provides an immediate indication of the volume of program activity.  

IPPF regional and youth forums
news_item

| 26 June 2021

The International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region holds its first Youth and Regional Forums

Nairobi, 25 June 2021 - The International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR) held its first ever Youth Forum and Regional Forum from 22 to 25 June 2021. The forums, which took place virtually, were attended by over 120 participants drawn from 39 countries across the region. Participants included representatives from the Youth Action Movement (YAM) - the youth arm of IPPF Africa Region's volunteer body based within the Member Associations (MAs) -, Executive Directors from MAs in the Africa Region, MA Board Presidents, the IPPF Director General, the IPPF Board of Trustees, and the Africa Regional Secretariat staff. The Youth Forum and the Regional Forum, which are the first-ever forums to be held within the Federation in line with the new IPPF governance reforms of November 2019, were aimed at fostering collaboration, sharing experiences, successes, challenges and best practices among IPPFAR’s MAs. In November 2019, IPPF overhauled its governance and resource allocation system to address concerns of its MAs, donors and other stakeholders. The reforms resulted in the adoption of an MA-centric approach aimed at strengthening MAs and making them more efficient, effective, and accountable. In his keynote speech, the IPPF Director General, Dr. Alvaro Bermejo, noted the resilience that MAs had demonstrated in delivering on their core mandate; that of providing quality sexual reproductive health (SRH) services to poor and vulnerable populations in sub-Saharan Africa. “The unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic placed tremendous strain on healthcare systems globally, and I commend our Member Associations for their continued efforts to offer much-needed SRH services to those who need them”, said Bermejo. In 2020, MAs in the Africa region provided a total number of 105,429,716 sexual reproductive health services. These included 56,670,238 family planning services, 1,783,523 safe abortion services and 1,939,051 Gender-Based Violence (GBV) services. Women received 89% of the services provided, while young people accounted for 55% of the total SRH services provided. Notably, and despite the challenging COVID-19 circumstances, the Africa Region provided 14,6 million couple-year protection (CYP) - its highest volume ever achieved – which is the  estimated protection provided by contraceptive methods, based upon the volume of all contraceptives sold or distributed free of charge to clients during the year[1]. In light of the rapidly changing political and financial context in which MAs have had to and must continue to deliver lifesaving services, some of the successful adaptive strategies they have implemented included innovations in health service delivery such as home-based service delivery in Cameroon, self-managed contraception care in Zambia, and the adoption of Digital Health Strategies in the form of online Comprehensive Sexuality Education in Benin, or the use of different social media platforms for SRH information and services in Nigeria.  With young people at the heart of IPPF’s work, the IPPF Africa Regional Director Marie-Evelyne Pétrus-Barry emphasized the role of this invaluable group. “In our organization, we have embraced young people as partners, and they are at the core of our global strategy and business plan. We highly value youth involvement across all areas of our work, including in our governance structures. We benefit from their ideas and contributions, with many of our achievements being significantly contributed by them,” she said in a speech delivered on her behalf by Mr. Sam Ntelamo, the Acting Regional Director. Young people attending the forum also lauded IPPFAR for their inclusion in its operations. “There is nothing about us without us, and as young people, IPPFAR continues to exemplify this. Through the MAs, the organization has provided us with safe spaces to discuss our issues and youth-friendly clinics where we comfortably seek sensitive services in a comfortable manner. We are also involved in making programme decisions and implementing them. As young people, we feel appreciated,” said Marian Pleasant Kargbo, YAM President in Sierra Leone. The first-ever IPPFAR Youth and Regional forums presented a great opportunity for all participants to collectively discuss and learn about how to diversify their funding base while strengthening their networks and partnerships across all levels for the benefit of the people we serve.   Media Contacts: - Mahmoud Garga, Lead Specialist - Strategic Communication, Media Relations and Digital Campaigning, IPPF Africa Regional Office (IPPFARO) – email: [email protected] -Phone +254 704 626 920 - Maryanne Wanyama, Communications Officer, IPPFARO, Nairobi (Kenya) - Email: [email protected]  ABOUT IPPF AFRICA REGION (IPPFAR) The International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR) is the leading sexual and reproductive health (SRH) service delivery organization in Africa, and the leading sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) advocacy voice in the region. Headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, the overarching goal of IPPFAR is to increase access to SRHR services to the most vulnerable youth, men and women in sub-Saharan Africa. Supported by thousands of volunteers, IPPFAR tackles the continent’s growing SRHR challenges through a network of Member Associations (MAs) in 39 countries. We do this by developing our MAs into efficient entities with the capacity to deliver and sustain high-quality, youth-focused and gender-sensitive services. We work with governments, the African Union, Regional Economic Commissions, the Pan-African Parliament, United Nations bodies among others to expand political and financial commitments to sexual and reproductive health and rights in Africa. Learn more about us on our website. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and You Tube.   [1] The CYP is calculated by multiplying the quantity of each method distributed to clients by a conversion factor, to yield an estimate of the duration of contraceptive protection provided per unit of that method. The CYP for each method is then summed for all methods to obtain a total CYP figure. CYP conversion factors are based on how a method is used, failure rates, wastage, and how many units of the method are typically needed to provide one year of contraceptive protection for a couple. The calculation takes into account that some methods, like condoms and oral contraceptives, for example, maybe used incorrectly and then discarded, or that IUDs and implants may be removed before their life span is realized. The term "CYP" reflects distribution and is a way to estimate coverage and not actual use or impact. The CYP calculation provides an immediate indication of the volume of program activity.  

ippf
news item

| 13 January 2022

The IPPF Africa Regional Sub-Office to the African Union and the United Nations Economic Commission in Africa (IPPF AUSO) launches policy papers on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR)

UHC means that all individuals and communities receive the health services and care they need without suffering financial hardship. It includes the full spectrum of essential, quality health services, from health promotion to prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and palliative care, and comprises an explicit commitment to provide sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services for all, as agreed in the UHC Political Declaration adopted in 2019.  However, SRH services and rights are not adequately prioritized in UHC. It is in this context that the IPPF AUSO, in collaboration with the Gender is my Agenda Campaign (GIMAC) network will launch a policy review and position paper on UHC and SRHR on 11th October, 2021, from 16:00 – 17:00 hrs (GMT+3) during the network’s consultative meeting with the African Union (AU)  and Regional Economic Communities (RECS) on the AU theme of the Year, “Arts, Culture, and Heritage: Levers for Building the Africa We Want”.     The COVID-19 crisis calls for re-examining the continent’s socio-economic priorities, contributing to building stronger and more resilient health and social sectors, towards equality and inclusion, which are at the heart of the African philosophy of Ubuntu.   This launch will provide a platform to generate discourse and build political support for UHC and SRHR at national, regional and global level, as countries seek to mitigate the devasting economic, social, health, and financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the continent. The launch will be facilitated by advocates and experts drawn from regional Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and  UN  organizations. Reflections will be centred around key themes including advocacy, health systems strengthening, meaningful youth engagement, data and evidence building for inclusion of SRHR in UHC Please register on the link below to participate: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_yDXnJhjjRgOPERpOyw0ARA

ippf
news_item

| 11 October 2021

The IPPF Africa Regional Sub-Office to the African Union and the United Nations Economic Commission in Africa (IPPF AUSO) launches policy papers on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR)

UHC means that all individuals and communities receive the health services and care they need without suffering financial hardship. It includes the full spectrum of essential, quality health services, from health promotion to prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and palliative care, and comprises an explicit commitment to provide sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services for all, as agreed in the UHC Political Declaration adopted in 2019.  However, SRH services and rights are not adequately prioritized in UHC. It is in this context that the IPPF AUSO, in collaboration with the Gender is my Agenda Campaign (GIMAC) network will launch a policy review and position paper on UHC and SRHR on 11th October, 2021, from 16:00 – 17:00 hrs (GMT+3) during the network’s consultative meeting with the African Union (AU)  and Regional Economic Communities (RECS) on the AU theme of the Year, “Arts, Culture, and Heritage: Levers for Building the Africa We Want”.     The COVID-19 crisis calls for re-examining the continent’s socio-economic priorities, contributing to building stronger and more resilient health and social sectors, towards equality and inclusion, which are at the heart of the African philosophy of Ubuntu.   This launch will provide a platform to generate discourse and build political support for UHC and SRHR at national, regional and global level, as countries seek to mitigate the devasting economic, social, health, and financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the continent. The launch will be facilitated by advocates and experts drawn from regional Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and  UN  organizations. Reflections will be centred around key themes including advocacy, health systems strengthening, meaningful youth engagement, data and evidence building for inclusion of SRHR in UHC Please register on the link below to participate: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_yDXnJhjjRgOPERpOyw0ARA

abortion care
news item

| 13 January 2022

How Women’s Access to Safe Abortion will Change in the Next Five Years

Numbers don’t lie: Between 2015 and 2019, on average, 73.3 million induced (safe and unsafe) abortions occurred worldwide each year. Every year, between 4.7% – 13.2% of maternal deaths can be attributed to unsafe abortion. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines unsafe abortion as a procedure for terminating an unwanted pregnancy either by persons lacking the necessary skills or in an environment lacking minimal medical standards or both. Unsafe abortions result in the deaths of 47,000 women every year and leaves millions temporarily or permanently disabled[1]. In Africa, nearly half of all abortions happen in the least safe circumstances. Moreover, mortality from unsafe abortion disproportionately affects women in Africa. While the continent accounts for 29% of all unsafe abortions, it sees 62% of unsafe abortion-related deaths (WHO). An estimated 93% of women of reproductive age in Africa live in countries with restrictive abortion laws. This means that the country’s laws only permit abortion in certain cases, often only if there is risk to the woman’s life, her health, the pregnancy is the result of rape, or there is evidence of foetal impairment. The costs of treating medical complications from unsafe abortion constitute a significant financial burden for developing countries’ public health care systems. Further, the more restrictive the legal setting, the higher the proportion of unsafe abortions. Statistics from unsafe abortions give us a glimpse into the suffering women must endure to end an unwanted pregnancy. We must challenge, re-evaluate different countries’ positions on the provision of life-saving safe-abortion care. We must advocate for changes in laws and policies and push-for the uptake of targeted and budgeted approaches that reach women and girls with safe abortion and contraception services wherever they are. IPPF and other key stakeholders are working towards ensuring that in the next five years, more women and girls will access abortion services differently, as the solutions to terminate a pregnancy will be more easily understood and available through self-managed medical abortion. This new approach promises to radically transform how health care is perceived and accessed by firmly placing women and girls at the centre of the abortion process; shifting the power dynamic from a medicalized and provider-led/decided approach to one that is person-centred and guarantees bodily autonomy. Where women can take control of their bodies and decide when and if to have children; whilst being supported by the healthcare system if needed. Also Read: Safe abortion in the context of COVID-19: partnership, dialogue and digital innovation This approach has been endorsed by WHO and is detailed within the newly released self-care guidelines. Several studies  have confirmed that self-managed abortion is safe, effective, and not inferior to those performed in clinical settings. A recent WHO review revealed that 94–96% of self-managed abortions had similar success rates to those conducted in clinic-based settings. In fact, 90% of clients confirmed they would recommend self-managed medical abortion. As local and global actors working for women’s health, rights and bodily autonomy, we must champion and roll out such new models and approaches that uphold, protect and champion women’s health, sexual rights and reproductive justice. Last July, IPPF joined global actors at the Generation Equality Forum to define and announce ambitious investments and policies for women and girls worldwide. Among our bold commitments, was a resolve to “expand and improve the provision of abortion care through 102 Member Associations, including quality medical and surgical abortion, person-centered abortion self-care support, and abortion care beyond 12 weeks of gestation through a simplified outpatient model using task-shifting to mid-level providers, including self-managed medical abortion.” This is a bold pledge that cannot depend on IPPF alone. It is critical if we are to reach the target of making the self-management of abortion a reality by 2026. Among others, IPPF calls upon the global ecosystem; feminist movements and civil-society organisations to continue to counter the multiple barriers i.e., legal, cultural, social and religious, that impede women from accessing safe abortion freely. Also Read: Abortion Quality of Care from the Client Perspective: a Qualitative Study in India and Kenya IPPF also calls upon policy and decision-makers to uphold their sexual reproductive health and rights (SRHR) commitments and repeal laws and policies that prevent safe abortion. We ask donors to invest in commodities and essential supplies, service delivery partners and prioritize research that promotes this approach. We also urge local and national stakeholders and service providers to embrace this new approach by encouraging, providing and supporting the integration of new models of abortion service delivery within existing clinic-based services. Self-care is not a magic bullet, and neither will this radical change happen by chance. It takes all of us to make it happen. This is not just a question of access. It is a fundamental question of freedom, empowerment, and bodily autonomy. Read more about The Global Comprehensive Abortion Care Initiative (GCACI). By Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry, Regional Director, International Planned Parenthood Federation, Africa Region (IPPFAR). Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry is the Regional Director of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, Africa Region (IPPFAR). The International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR) is one of the leading providers of quality sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services in Africa and a leading sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) advocacy voice in the region.   For more updates on our work, follow IPPF Africa Region on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and You Tube.

abortion care
news_item

| 29 September 2021

How Women’s Access to Safe Abortion will Change in the Next Five Years

Numbers don’t lie: Between 2015 and 2019, on average, 73.3 million induced (safe and unsafe) abortions occurred worldwide each year. Every year, between 4.7% – 13.2% of maternal deaths can be attributed to unsafe abortion. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines unsafe abortion as a procedure for terminating an unwanted pregnancy either by persons lacking the necessary skills or in an environment lacking minimal medical standards or both. Unsafe abortions result in the deaths of 47,000 women every year and leaves millions temporarily or permanently disabled[1]. In Africa, nearly half of all abortions happen in the least safe circumstances. Moreover, mortality from unsafe abortion disproportionately affects women in Africa. While the continent accounts for 29% of all unsafe abortions, it sees 62% of unsafe abortion-related deaths (WHO). An estimated 93% of women of reproductive age in Africa live in countries with restrictive abortion laws. This means that the country’s laws only permit abortion in certain cases, often only if there is risk to the woman’s life, her health, the pregnancy is the result of rape, or there is evidence of foetal impairment. The costs of treating medical complications from unsafe abortion constitute a significant financial burden for developing countries’ public health care systems. Further, the more restrictive the legal setting, the higher the proportion of unsafe abortions. Statistics from unsafe abortions give us a glimpse into the suffering women must endure to end an unwanted pregnancy. We must challenge, re-evaluate different countries’ positions on the provision of life-saving safe-abortion care. We must advocate for changes in laws and policies and push-for the uptake of targeted and budgeted approaches that reach women and girls with safe abortion and contraception services wherever they are. IPPF and other key stakeholders are working towards ensuring that in the next five years, more women and girls will access abortion services differently, as the solutions to terminate a pregnancy will be more easily understood and available through self-managed medical abortion. This new approach promises to radically transform how health care is perceived and accessed by firmly placing women and girls at the centre of the abortion process; shifting the power dynamic from a medicalized and provider-led/decided approach to one that is person-centred and guarantees bodily autonomy. Where women can take control of their bodies and decide when and if to have children; whilst being supported by the healthcare system if needed. Also Read: Safe abortion in the context of COVID-19: partnership, dialogue and digital innovation This approach has been endorsed by WHO and is detailed within the newly released self-care guidelines. Several studies  have confirmed that self-managed abortion is safe, effective, and not inferior to those performed in clinical settings. A recent WHO review revealed that 94–96% of self-managed abortions had similar success rates to those conducted in clinic-based settings. In fact, 90% of clients confirmed they would recommend self-managed medical abortion. As local and global actors working for women’s health, rights and bodily autonomy, we must champion and roll out such new models and approaches that uphold, protect and champion women’s health, sexual rights and reproductive justice. Last July, IPPF joined global actors at the Generation Equality Forum to define and announce ambitious investments and policies for women and girls worldwide. Among our bold commitments, was a resolve to “expand and improve the provision of abortion care through 102 Member Associations, including quality medical and surgical abortion, person-centered abortion self-care support, and abortion care beyond 12 weeks of gestation through a simplified outpatient model using task-shifting to mid-level providers, including self-managed medical abortion.” This is a bold pledge that cannot depend on IPPF alone. It is critical if we are to reach the target of making the self-management of abortion a reality by 2026. Among others, IPPF calls upon the global ecosystem; feminist movements and civil-society organisations to continue to counter the multiple barriers i.e., legal, cultural, social and religious, that impede women from accessing safe abortion freely. Also Read: Abortion Quality of Care from the Client Perspective: a Qualitative Study in India and Kenya IPPF also calls upon policy and decision-makers to uphold their sexual reproductive health and rights (SRHR) commitments and repeal laws and policies that prevent safe abortion. We ask donors to invest in commodities and essential supplies, service delivery partners and prioritize research that promotes this approach. We also urge local and national stakeholders and service providers to embrace this new approach by encouraging, providing and supporting the integration of new models of abortion service delivery within existing clinic-based services. Self-care is not a magic bullet, and neither will this radical change happen by chance. It takes all of us to make it happen. This is not just a question of access. It is a fundamental question of freedom, empowerment, and bodily autonomy. Read more about The Global Comprehensive Abortion Care Initiative (GCACI). By Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry, Regional Director, International Planned Parenthood Federation, Africa Region (IPPFAR). Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry is the Regional Director of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, Africa Region (IPPFAR). The International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR) is one of the leading providers of quality sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services in Africa and a leading sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) advocacy voice in the region.   For more updates on our work, follow IPPF Africa Region on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and You Tube.

Generation Equality Forum
news item

| 06 July 2021

IPPF announces new commitments to Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) at the Generation Equality Forum

The Generation Equality Forum (GEF) is a global multi-stakeholder platform to reignite the worldwide commitment for gender equality, convened by UN Women and the governments of Mexico and France. The Forum kicked off in Mexico City, Mexico, on 29 – 31 March 2021, and culminated in Paris, France, on 30 June – 2 July 2021, with the aim of securing a set of concrete, ambitious, and transformative commitments to achieve irreversible progress towards gender equality; bringing together governments, civil society organizations, young people-led organizations, the private sector and foundations to define and announce ambitious investments and policies on a range of priority areas, from climate change to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), gender-based violence, feminist movements, technology and economic justice.   IPPF is proud to be one of the co-leads of the Action Coalition on Bodily Autonomy & SRHR, which aims to:  Expand access to comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) in and out of school  Increase qualitative access to contraception  Empower all people, including adolescents and women, in all their diversity to make autonomous choices about their bodies, sexuality and reproduction  Strengthen girls, women’s and feminist organizations and networks to promote and protect bodily autonomy and SRHR.  IPPF has joined the two collective commitments of this Action Coalition on abortion and CSE.  IPPF’s individual commitment at GEF  By 2026, IPPF commits to work to accelerate universal access to safe abortion care centered on three principles – rights-based, reproductive justice and gender transformative – with a focus on the following strategies:   Expand and improve the provision of abortion care through 102 Member Associations, including quality medical and surgical abortion, person-centered abortion self-care support, and abortion care beyond 12 weeks of gestation through a simplified outpatient model using task-shifting to mid-level providers, including self-managed medical abortion.   Fully integrate abortion care into humanitarian preparedness and response as full realization of SRHR, with all IPPF emergency responses providing abortion care as a standard part of the Minimum Initial Service Package (MISP).  Advocate for the decriminalization of abortion and the removal of coercive policies and legislation on abortion in 25 countries, and advocate to donor governments and agencies to remove restrictions preventing work and dialogue on abortion, including the permanent repeal of the Global Gag Rule.  IPPF is also pleased to announce that it will be working with the Governments of Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands to help realize universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights and CSE.   IPPF’s Director-General, Dr Alvaro Bermejo, said:  “Since Beijing, progress has been made towards gender equality, yet not a single country can claim to have achieved it. It’s simple; women and girls cannot wait any longer to live a life free from discrimination, free from gender-based violence and free from harmful patriarchal gender norms – we must replace rhetoric with meaningful action. "As co-leaders of the Action Coalition on Bodily Autonomy and SRHR, we are convinced that you cannot achieve gender equality without SRHR, and urge that it be at the center of policies and decision-making processes. IPPF, alongside its partners and Member Associations, will turn our commitments into meaningful action that accelerates our shared goal of achieving gender equality.”  IPPF’s Global Advocacy Director, Anamaria Bejar, added:  “Women and girls cannot afford more broken promises. Now is the time to renew our determination to make the Beijing Platform for Action a reality for every woman and girl in the world, to live with dignity and reach their full potential. That is why IPPF wholeheartedly support the Generation Equality Forum and what it stands for. Together, we can meaningfully work towards gender equality in our lifetime.”  Fore more details about IPPF's commitments at GEF, click here. Follow IPPF Africa Region on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and You Tube.

Generation Equality Forum
news_item

| 06 July 2021

IPPF announces new commitments to Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) at the Generation Equality Forum

The Generation Equality Forum (GEF) is a global multi-stakeholder platform to reignite the worldwide commitment for gender equality, convened by UN Women and the governments of Mexico and France. The Forum kicked off in Mexico City, Mexico, on 29 – 31 March 2021, and culminated in Paris, France, on 30 June – 2 July 2021, with the aim of securing a set of concrete, ambitious, and transformative commitments to achieve irreversible progress towards gender equality; bringing together governments, civil society organizations, young people-led organizations, the private sector and foundations to define and announce ambitious investments and policies on a range of priority areas, from climate change to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), gender-based violence, feminist movements, technology and economic justice.   IPPF is proud to be one of the co-leads of the Action Coalition on Bodily Autonomy & SRHR, which aims to:  Expand access to comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) in and out of school  Increase qualitative access to contraception  Empower all people, including adolescents and women, in all their diversity to make autonomous choices about their bodies, sexuality and reproduction  Strengthen girls, women’s and feminist organizations and networks to promote and protect bodily autonomy and SRHR.  IPPF has joined the two collective commitments of this Action Coalition on abortion and CSE.  IPPF’s individual commitment at GEF  By 2026, IPPF commits to work to accelerate universal access to safe abortion care centered on three principles – rights-based, reproductive justice and gender transformative – with a focus on the following strategies:   Expand and improve the provision of abortion care through 102 Member Associations, including quality medical and surgical abortion, person-centered abortion self-care support, and abortion care beyond 12 weeks of gestation through a simplified outpatient model using task-shifting to mid-level providers, including self-managed medical abortion.   Fully integrate abortion care into humanitarian preparedness and response as full realization of SRHR, with all IPPF emergency responses providing abortion care as a standard part of the Minimum Initial Service Package (MISP).  Advocate for the decriminalization of abortion and the removal of coercive policies and legislation on abortion in 25 countries, and advocate to donor governments and agencies to remove restrictions preventing work and dialogue on abortion, including the permanent repeal of the Global Gag Rule.  IPPF is also pleased to announce that it will be working with the Governments of Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands to help realize universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights and CSE.   IPPF’s Director-General, Dr Alvaro Bermejo, said:  “Since Beijing, progress has been made towards gender equality, yet not a single country can claim to have achieved it. It’s simple; women and girls cannot wait any longer to live a life free from discrimination, free from gender-based violence and free from harmful patriarchal gender norms – we must replace rhetoric with meaningful action. "As co-leaders of the Action Coalition on Bodily Autonomy and SRHR, we are convinced that you cannot achieve gender equality without SRHR, and urge that it be at the center of policies and decision-making processes. IPPF, alongside its partners and Member Associations, will turn our commitments into meaningful action that accelerates our shared goal of achieving gender equality.”  IPPF’s Global Advocacy Director, Anamaria Bejar, added:  “Women and girls cannot afford more broken promises. Now is the time to renew our determination to make the Beijing Platform for Action a reality for every woman and girl in the world, to live with dignity and reach their full potential. That is why IPPF wholeheartedly support the Generation Equality Forum and what it stands for. Together, we can meaningfully work towards gender equality in our lifetime.”  Fore more details about IPPF's commitments at GEF, click here. Follow IPPF Africa Region on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and You Tube.

MSF International Activity Report Illustration image
news item

| 29 June 2021

The International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region is utterly shocked at the killing of three MSF staff members in Tigray, Ethiopia

Nairobi, 28 June 2021 - The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) joins Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) and the entire humanitarian community in strongly condemning the killing of three MSF humanitarian workers in Tigray, Ethiopia. IPPFAR is deeply shocked and horrified after receiving confirmation of the murder of Maria Hernandez, Yohannes Halefom Reda and Tedros Gebremariam Gebremichael on 25 June 2021 in Tigray. “The murder of humanitarian workers is an unacceptable and heinous violation of International Humanitarian Law. No words can convey the shock and outrage resulting from these appalling acts, and the perpetrators must be found and held accountable”, said Alvaro Bermejo, IPPF Director General. “Humanitarian and health workers must never be targeted, and security forces have an obligation to protect and respect our colleagues delivering services in conflict areas and elsewhere”, added Bermejo. IPPFAR stands in solidarity with the entire humanitarian community in conveying its deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of the victims. END   Media Contacts: -Mahmoud Garga, Lead Specialist - Strategic Communication, Media Relations and Digital Campaigning, IPPF Africa Regional Office (IPPFARO) – email: [email protected] -Phone +254 704 626 920 Maryanne Wanyama, Communications Officer, IPPFARO, Nairobi (Kenya) - Email: [email protected] 

MSF International Activity Report Illustration image
news_item

| 29 June 2021

The International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region is utterly shocked at the killing of three MSF staff members in Tigray, Ethiopia

Nairobi, 28 June 2021 - The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) joins Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) and the entire humanitarian community in strongly condemning the killing of three MSF humanitarian workers in Tigray, Ethiopia. IPPFAR is deeply shocked and horrified after receiving confirmation of the murder of Maria Hernandez, Yohannes Halefom Reda and Tedros Gebremariam Gebremichael on 25 June 2021 in Tigray. “The murder of humanitarian workers is an unacceptable and heinous violation of International Humanitarian Law. No words can convey the shock and outrage resulting from these appalling acts, and the perpetrators must be found and held accountable”, said Alvaro Bermejo, IPPF Director General. “Humanitarian and health workers must never be targeted, and security forces have an obligation to protect and respect our colleagues delivering services in conflict areas and elsewhere”, added Bermejo. IPPFAR stands in solidarity with the entire humanitarian community in conveying its deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of the victims. END   Media Contacts: -Mahmoud Garga, Lead Specialist - Strategic Communication, Media Relations and Digital Campaigning, IPPF Africa Regional Office (IPPFARO) – email: [email protected] -Phone +254 704 626 920 Maryanne Wanyama, Communications Officer, IPPFARO, Nairobi (Kenya) - Email: [email protected] 

Adapting family planning services in time of crisis introduction
news item

| 28 June 2021

Adapting family planning services in time of crisis: Innovations by the IPPF Africa Region Member Associations

  On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. The impact of the pandemic would be felt across the world in all sectors, including health, where major disruptions were witnessed. Access to basic health information and services, including sexual reproductive health (SRH) information and services became constrained owing to various government-led protective directives such as restrictions on movement, lockdowns and curfews. The pandemic also put a strain on IPPF Member Associations (MAs) across the world. MAs are IPPF affiliated locally owned health organizations which provide a wide range of sexual reproductive health information and services. The pandemic saw many MAs cut down on their services, with some having to shut down completely or suspend some of their operations in their static clinics, community-based outlets and mobile outreach services. Surveys conducted by the IPPF Africa Region in April and June 2020 to establish the impact of Covid 19 on its MAs established that a total of 1,405 service delivery points (SDPs) were reported to have been closed during round 1 of the survey while 2,161 SDPs were closed during round 2 out of the 13,049 service delivery points reported in 2019. 447 mobile clinics were also shut down. These disruptions affected people’s access to the essential sexual reproductive healthcare services provided in our MA facilities, such as family planning services, sexually transmitted infections services, maternal and child health services, among others. Young people were no longer able to congregate at the youth-friendly centers where they would access SRH information and services. This called for innovation on the part of IPPF in ensuring that the populations, especially the vulnerable and marginalized, continued accessing SRH services. Various partners came on board to mitigate the gap occasioned by COVID-19 by providing various resources for this, including financial resources. These donors included Global Affairs Canada (GAC), Levi Strauss Foundation and Danida. The Danida grant for COVID-19 was disbursed to 45 IPPF MAs in the Africa region and was geared towards filling the gap created by the pandemic by ensuring there was continued SRH service delivery despite the challenges. The interventions facilitated by these grants have yielded commendable results, as more than 100 million SRH services were reported in the Africa Region - mostly women, girls, the vulnerable and hard-to-reach populations have been able to access SRH information and services. The range of services, offered by the MAs in partnership with government agencies and development partners in the private sector, included ante-natal and post-natal care, childbirth services, family planning services, STI treatment and management services, Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) for the young people, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) services. In a series of five case studies, we highlight some innovations and adaptations developed by IPPF Africa Region MAs, that enabled thousands of their target populations to continue accessing quality and affordable sexual reproductive health and rights (SRHR) information and services amidst the pandemic. Cameroun: Adopting a Home-based Service Delivery Approach Nigeria: Establishing Digital Health Interventions Zambia: Training Women on Self-Managed Care for Contraception Benin: Bringing Comprehensive Sexuality Education Online Sao Tome: A Clinic on Wheels 

Adapting family planning services in time of crisis introduction
news_item

| 28 June 2021

Adapting family planning services in time of crisis: Innovations by the IPPF Africa Region Member Associations

  On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. The impact of the pandemic would be felt across the world in all sectors, including health, where major disruptions were witnessed. Access to basic health information and services, including sexual reproductive health (SRH) information and services became constrained owing to various government-led protective directives such as restrictions on movement, lockdowns and curfews. The pandemic also put a strain on IPPF Member Associations (MAs) across the world. MAs are IPPF affiliated locally owned health organizations which provide a wide range of sexual reproductive health information and services. The pandemic saw many MAs cut down on their services, with some having to shut down completely or suspend some of their operations in their static clinics, community-based outlets and mobile outreach services. Surveys conducted by the IPPF Africa Region in April and June 2020 to establish the impact of Covid 19 on its MAs established that a total of 1,405 service delivery points (SDPs) were reported to have been closed during round 1 of the survey while 2,161 SDPs were closed during round 2 out of the 13,049 service delivery points reported in 2019. 447 mobile clinics were also shut down. These disruptions affected people’s access to the essential sexual reproductive healthcare services provided in our MA facilities, such as family planning services, sexually transmitted infections services, maternal and child health services, among others. Young people were no longer able to congregate at the youth-friendly centers where they would access SRH information and services. This called for innovation on the part of IPPF in ensuring that the populations, especially the vulnerable and marginalized, continued accessing SRH services. Various partners came on board to mitigate the gap occasioned by COVID-19 by providing various resources for this, including financial resources. These donors included Global Affairs Canada (GAC), Levi Strauss Foundation and Danida. The Danida grant for COVID-19 was disbursed to 45 IPPF MAs in the Africa region and was geared towards filling the gap created by the pandemic by ensuring there was continued SRH service delivery despite the challenges. The interventions facilitated by these grants have yielded commendable results, as more than 100 million SRH services were reported in the Africa Region - mostly women, girls, the vulnerable and hard-to-reach populations have been able to access SRH information and services. The range of services, offered by the MAs in partnership with government agencies and development partners in the private sector, included ante-natal and post-natal care, childbirth services, family planning services, STI treatment and management services, Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) for the young people, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) services. In a series of five case studies, we highlight some innovations and adaptations developed by IPPF Africa Region MAs, that enabled thousands of their target populations to continue accessing quality and affordable sexual reproductive health and rights (SRHR) information and services amidst the pandemic. Cameroun: Adopting a Home-based Service Delivery Approach Nigeria: Establishing Digital Health Interventions Zambia: Training Women on Self-Managed Care for Contraception Benin: Bringing Comprehensive Sexuality Education Online Sao Tome: A Clinic on Wheels 

IPPF regional and youth forums
news item

| 26 June 2021

The International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region holds its first Youth and Regional Forums

Nairobi, 25 June 2021 - The International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR) held its first ever Youth Forum and Regional Forum from 22 to 25 June 2021. The forums, which took place virtually, were attended by over 120 participants drawn from 39 countries across the region. Participants included representatives from the Youth Action Movement (YAM) - the youth arm of IPPF Africa Region's volunteer body based within the Member Associations (MAs) -, Executive Directors from MAs in the Africa Region, MA Board Presidents, the IPPF Director General, the IPPF Board of Trustees, and the Africa Regional Secretariat staff. The Youth Forum and the Regional Forum, which are the first-ever forums to be held within the Federation in line with the new IPPF governance reforms of November 2019, were aimed at fostering collaboration, sharing experiences, successes, challenges and best practices among IPPFAR’s MAs. In November 2019, IPPF overhauled its governance and resource allocation system to address concerns of its MAs, donors and other stakeholders. The reforms resulted in the adoption of an MA-centric approach aimed at strengthening MAs and making them more efficient, effective, and accountable. In his keynote speech, the IPPF Director General, Dr. Alvaro Bermejo, noted the resilience that MAs had demonstrated in delivering on their core mandate; that of providing quality sexual reproductive health (SRH) services to poor and vulnerable populations in sub-Saharan Africa. “The unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic placed tremendous strain on healthcare systems globally, and I commend our Member Associations for their continued efforts to offer much-needed SRH services to those who need them”, said Bermejo. In 2020, MAs in the Africa region provided a total number of 105,429,716 sexual reproductive health services. These included 56,670,238 family planning services, 1,783,523 safe abortion services and 1,939,051 Gender-Based Violence (GBV) services. Women received 89% of the services provided, while young people accounted for 55% of the total SRH services provided. Notably, and despite the challenging COVID-19 circumstances, the Africa Region provided 14,6 million couple-year protection (CYP) - its highest volume ever achieved – which is the  estimated protection provided by contraceptive methods, based upon the volume of all contraceptives sold or distributed free of charge to clients during the year[1]. In light of the rapidly changing political and financial context in which MAs have had to and must continue to deliver lifesaving services, some of the successful adaptive strategies they have implemented included innovations in health service delivery such as home-based service delivery in Cameroon, self-managed contraception care in Zambia, and the adoption of Digital Health Strategies in the form of online Comprehensive Sexuality Education in Benin, or the use of different social media platforms for SRH information and services in Nigeria.  With young people at the heart of IPPF’s work, the IPPF Africa Regional Director Marie-Evelyne Pétrus-Barry emphasized the role of this invaluable group. “In our organization, we have embraced young people as partners, and they are at the core of our global strategy and business plan. We highly value youth involvement across all areas of our work, including in our governance structures. We benefit from their ideas and contributions, with many of our achievements being significantly contributed by them,” she said in a speech delivered on her behalf by Mr. Sam Ntelamo, the Acting Regional Director. Young people attending the forum also lauded IPPFAR for their inclusion in its operations. “There is nothing about us without us, and as young people, IPPFAR continues to exemplify this. Through the MAs, the organization has provided us with safe spaces to discuss our issues and youth-friendly clinics where we comfortably seek sensitive services in a comfortable manner. We are also involved in making programme decisions and implementing them. As young people, we feel appreciated,” said Marian Pleasant Kargbo, YAM President in Sierra Leone. The first-ever IPPFAR Youth and Regional forums presented a great opportunity for all participants to collectively discuss and learn about how to diversify their funding base while strengthening their networks and partnerships across all levels for the benefit of the people we serve.   Media Contacts: - Mahmoud Garga, Lead Specialist - Strategic Communication, Media Relations and Digital Campaigning, IPPF Africa Regional Office (IPPFARO) – email: [email protected] -Phone +254 704 626 920 - Maryanne Wanyama, Communications Officer, IPPFARO, Nairobi (Kenya) - Email: [email protected]  ABOUT IPPF AFRICA REGION (IPPFAR) The International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR) is the leading sexual and reproductive health (SRH) service delivery organization in Africa, and the leading sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) advocacy voice in the region. Headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, the overarching goal of IPPFAR is to increase access to SRHR services to the most vulnerable youth, men and women in sub-Saharan Africa. Supported by thousands of volunteers, IPPFAR tackles the continent’s growing SRHR challenges through a network of Member Associations (MAs) in 39 countries. We do this by developing our MAs into efficient entities with the capacity to deliver and sustain high-quality, youth-focused and gender-sensitive services. We work with governments, the African Union, Regional Economic Commissions, the Pan-African Parliament, United Nations bodies among others to expand political and financial commitments to sexual and reproductive health and rights in Africa. Learn more about us on our website. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and You Tube.   [1] The CYP is calculated by multiplying the quantity of each method distributed to clients by a conversion factor, to yield an estimate of the duration of contraceptive protection provided per unit of that method. The CYP for each method is then summed for all methods to obtain a total CYP figure. CYP conversion factors are based on how a method is used, failure rates, wastage, and how many units of the method are typically needed to provide one year of contraceptive protection for a couple. The calculation takes into account that some methods, like condoms and oral contraceptives, for example, maybe used incorrectly and then discarded, or that IUDs and implants may be removed before their life span is realized. The term "CYP" reflects distribution and is a way to estimate coverage and not actual use or impact. The CYP calculation provides an immediate indication of the volume of program activity.  

IPPF regional and youth forums
news_item

| 26 June 2021

The International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region holds its first Youth and Regional Forums

Nairobi, 25 June 2021 - The International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR) held its first ever Youth Forum and Regional Forum from 22 to 25 June 2021. The forums, which took place virtually, were attended by over 120 participants drawn from 39 countries across the region. Participants included representatives from the Youth Action Movement (YAM) - the youth arm of IPPF Africa Region's volunteer body based within the Member Associations (MAs) -, Executive Directors from MAs in the Africa Region, MA Board Presidents, the IPPF Director General, the IPPF Board of Trustees, and the Africa Regional Secretariat staff. The Youth Forum and the Regional Forum, which are the first-ever forums to be held within the Federation in line with the new IPPF governance reforms of November 2019, were aimed at fostering collaboration, sharing experiences, successes, challenges and best practices among IPPFAR’s MAs. In November 2019, IPPF overhauled its governance and resource allocation system to address concerns of its MAs, donors and other stakeholders. The reforms resulted in the adoption of an MA-centric approach aimed at strengthening MAs and making them more efficient, effective, and accountable. In his keynote speech, the IPPF Director General, Dr. Alvaro Bermejo, noted the resilience that MAs had demonstrated in delivering on their core mandate; that of providing quality sexual reproductive health (SRH) services to poor and vulnerable populations in sub-Saharan Africa. “The unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic placed tremendous strain on healthcare systems globally, and I commend our Member Associations for their continued efforts to offer much-needed SRH services to those who need them”, said Bermejo. In 2020, MAs in the Africa region provided a total number of 105,429,716 sexual reproductive health services. These included 56,670,238 family planning services, 1,783,523 safe abortion services and 1,939,051 Gender-Based Violence (GBV) services. Women received 89% of the services provided, while young people accounted for 55% of the total SRH services provided. Notably, and despite the challenging COVID-19 circumstances, the Africa Region provided 14,6 million couple-year protection (CYP) - its highest volume ever achieved – which is the  estimated protection provided by contraceptive methods, based upon the volume of all contraceptives sold or distributed free of charge to clients during the year[1]. In light of the rapidly changing political and financial context in which MAs have had to and must continue to deliver lifesaving services, some of the successful adaptive strategies they have implemented included innovations in health service delivery such as home-based service delivery in Cameroon, self-managed contraception care in Zambia, and the adoption of Digital Health Strategies in the form of online Comprehensive Sexuality Education in Benin, or the use of different social media platforms for SRH information and services in Nigeria.  With young people at the heart of IPPF’s work, the IPPF Africa Regional Director Marie-Evelyne Pétrus-Barry emphasized the role of this invaluable group. “In our organization, we have embraced young people as partners, and they are at the core of our global strategy and business plan. We highly value youth involvement across all areas of our work, including in our governance structures. We benefit from their ideas and contributions, with many of our achievements being significantly contributed by them,” she said in a speech delivered on her behalf by Mr. Sam Ntelamo, the Acting Regional Director. Young people attending the forum also lauded IPPFAR for their inclusion in its operations. “There is nothing about us without us, and as young people, IPPFAR continues to exemplify this. Through the MAs, the organization has provided us with safe spaces to discuss our issues and youth-friendly clinics where we comfortably seek sensitive services in a comfortable manner. We are also involved in making programme decisions and implementing them. As young people, we feel appreciated,” said Marian Pleasant Kargbo, YAM President in Sierra Leone. The first-ever IPPFAR Youth and Regional forums presented a great opportunity for all participants to collectively discuss and learn about how to diversify their funding base while strengthening their networks and partnerships across all levels for the benefit of the people we serve.   Media Contacts: - Mahmoud Garga, Lead Specialist - Strategic Communication, Media Relations and Digital Campaigning, IPPF Africa Regional Office (IPPFARO) – email: [email protected] -Phone +254 704 626 920 - Maryanne Wanyama, Communications Officer, IPPFARO, Nairobi (Kenya) - Email: [email protected]  ABOUT IPPF AFRICA REGION (IPPFAR) The International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR) is the leading sexual and reproductive health (SRH) service delivery organization in Africa, and the leading sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) advocacy voice in the region. Headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, the overarching goal of IPPFAR is to increase access to SRHR services to the most vulnerable youth, men and women in sub-Saharan Africa. Supported by thousands of volunteers, IPPFAR tackles the continent’s growing SRHR challenges through a network of Member Associations (MAs) in 39 countries. We do this by developing our MAs into efficient entities with the capacity to deliver and sustain high-quality, youth-focused and gender-sensitive services. We work with governments, the African Union, Regional Economic Commissions, the Pan-African Parliament, United Nations bodies among others to expand political and financial commitments to sexual and reproductive health and rights in Africa. Learn more about us on our website. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and You Tube.   [1] The CYP is calculated by multiplying the quantity of each method distributed to clients by a conversion factor, to yield an estimate of the duration of contraceptive protection provided per unit of that method. The CYP for each method is then summed for all methods to obtain a total CYP figure. CYP conversion factors are based on how a method is used, failure rates, wastage, and how many units of the method are typically needed to provide one year of contraceptive protection for a couple. The calculation takes into account that some methods, like condoms and oral contraceptives, for example, maybe used incorrectly and then discarded, or that IUDs and implants may be removed before their life span is realized. The term "CYP" reflects distribution and is a way to estimate coverage and not actual use or impact. The CYP calculation provides an immediate indication of the volume of program activity.