Meeting Women’s Modern Contraceptive Needs Could Yield Dramatic Benefit

September 9, 2020
By Deekshita Ramanarayanan

“Achieving true progress on sexual and reproductive health and rights requires a comprehensive approach and a commitment to tackling deeply entrenched inequities and injustices of which marginalized communities continue to bear the brunt,” said Dr. Herminia Palacio, President and CEO of the Guttmacher Institute. She spoke at a recent Wilson Center event where speakers analyzed findings from the Guttmacher Institute on the state of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) globally.

The current COVID-19 pandemic threatens to roll back progress made towards SRHR.  “A growing body of evidence shows that the pandemic is already limiting access to sexual and reproductive health care worldwide, especially in low- and middle- income countries,” said Sarah Barnes, Project Director of the Maternal Health Initiative at the Wilson Center. These impacts go unrecognized because they are indirect results of health system disruption rather than the direct impact of a virus, said Zara Ahmed, Associate Director of Federal Issues at the Guttmacher Institute.

Continued: https://www.newsecuritybeat.org/2020/09/meeting-womens-modern-contraceptive-yield-dramatic-benefit/


Millions of women lose contraceptives, abortions in COVID-19

By ANIRUDDHA GHOSAL and CARA ANNA, Associated Press
19 August 2020

NEW DELHI -- Millions of women and girls globally have lost access to contraceptives and abortion services because of the coronavirus pandemic. Now the first widespread measure of the toll says India with its abrupt, months-long lockdown has been hit especially hard.

Several months into the pandemic, many women now have second-trimester pregnancies because they could not find care in time.

Continued: https://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/baby-boom-ahead-covid-19-millions-women-care-72460772


UK – Rise in abortions as more than 200 Norfolk women unable to access contraceptive care in lockdown

28 July 2020
Sarah Burgess

Abortion services have seen an increased demand during lockdown as more than 200 women across Norfolk have struggled to access contraceptive care.

The coronavirus pandemic has meant many women’s preferred choice of contraception is unavailable - such as the fitting of long-acting contraception like implants and coils.

Continued: https://www.edp24.co.uk/news/health/abortions-and-contraceptive-care-coronavirus-lockdown-1-6765738


Coronavirus baby boom or bust? How the pandemic is affecting birthrates worldwide.

By Miriam Berger
July 15, 2020

It has been five months — a bit more than half the length of an average pregnancy — since the World Health Organization declared the novel coronavirus a pandemic.

With millions of people cut off from reproductive health care and stuck at home, some experts predicted that the crisis would create the conditions for a baby boom, at least in some countries. Other analysts predicted a baby bust, driven by economic and social instability.

Continued: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2020/07/15/coronavirus-baby-boom-or-bust-how-pandemic-is-affecting-birthrates-worldwide/


Bangladesh – Increased budget must come with policy changes, utilisation

Experts hail allocation in family planning, but wary of planning

July 06, 2020
Nilima Jahan

The budget allocation in health and family welfare has seen a steady increase in the past few years. This year, the amount increased by 13.66 percent, standing at Tk 29,247 crore.

Although the increased allocation appears to be a step in the right direction, family planning experts believe that the higher budgets are not being utilised in a planned manner.

Continued: https://www.thedailystar.net/city/news/increased-budget-must-come-policy-changes-utilisation-1925709


USA – 1 in 3 Women Struggled to Get Birth Control Because of Coronavirus

1 in 3 Women Struggled to Get Birth Control Because of Coronavirus
The pandemic has been even worse for women's reproductive health care than the 2008 recession. And this is just the beginning.

by Carter Sherman
June 24, 2020

One in three women struggled to get their birth control, had to delay a doctor’s visit for sexual or reproductive health care, or had to cancel a visit entirely due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to findings released Wednesday by the Guttmacher Institute.

Researchers at the Guttmacher Institute, which tracks restrictions on reproductive health, surveyed more than 2,000 cisgender women across the United States in late April and early May. Even in those early weeks of the global shutdown, they discovered that the pandemic had already made getting birth control and related health care a struggle for more women than the 2008 recession had.

Continued: https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/3aza8k/1-in-3-women-struggled-to-get-birth-control-because-of-coronavirus


India – Covid-19 fuelling mother and child mortality rates

Covid-19 fuelling mother and child mortality rates

Jun 16, 2020
Sanchita Sharma, Hindustantimes

Priyanshi Kol was born in her parent’s one-room hutment in Ansara village in the Rewa district of Madhya Pradesh on May 21 because her mother Shivjanki, 26, couldn’t get an ambulance to reach Sanjay Gandhi Medical Hospital 100 km away.

She died on June 13 from childbirth-related complications. She was 23 days old.

Continued: https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/covid-19-fuelling-mother-and-child-mortality-rates/story-NvmX3Cn7KMqlff77R9BoZN.html


The Sexual-Health Supply Chain Is Broken

The Sexual-Health Supply Chain Is Broken
Condoms, birth control, and other items are harder to get in the developing world because of the pandemic. That is putting lives at risk.

Anna Louie Sussman
June 8, 2020

It took Dimos Sakellaridis about six years to build Kiss condoms into one of Nigeria’s top brands, with approximately 91 million sold in 2019. The prophylactics are available in shops, markets, and kiosks across the country, and a combination of irreverent advertising, a growing population of young people, and a greater understanding of reproductive health within Nigeria has meant his sales have steadily risen.

But if he can’t get a shipment of 12 million condoms (and 4 million packs of birth-control pills) out of the Lagos port soon, those stocks will run out. And unfortunately for Sakellaridis, it makes no difference to the customs authorities, who are working their way through a backlog of containers, that ordinary Nigerians depend on Sakellaridis’s stranded cargo to prevent unwanted pregnancies and stop the spread of sexually transmitted infections. All he can do is wait—and he is not alone.

Continued: https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2020/06/coronavirus-pandemic-sex-health-condoms-reproductive-health/612298/


Kenya – Menstruation, sex, and abortion do not stop for pandemics

Menstruation, sex, and abortion do not stop for pandemics
Comprehensive access and uptake of the above care and services will ensure we are not fighting another pandemic post-coronavirus.

by ALVIN MWANGI, Star Blogs
28 May 2020

With the rise in the number of coronavirus infections in the country, the health system risks being over-stretched to levels that the Ministry of Health might not contain.

Health CAS Dr Mercy Mwangangi has said the government is concerned with reports that many Kenyans have stopped going to hospitals for fear of contracting Covid-19. Among the affected services is reproductive health.

Continued: https://www.the-star.co.ke/opinion/star-blogs/2020-05-28-menstruation-sex-and-abortion-do-not-stop-for-pandemics/


Africa – Protecting Rights of Women

Protecting Rights of Women

26/05/2020
Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry
Amnesty International Regional Director for West and Central Africa

Sir,

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage the world causing untold suffering and misery. Millions of people, particularly the elderly, have fallen critically ill; and thousands more, including health workers, have died after contracting the deadly virus.
....
Women, to a large extent, are more adversely affected than men by the crisis due to existing patriarchal norms and deep-rooted inequalities. They bear the heaviest burden of the outbreak because in their traditional roles as mothers and wives, they are responsible for ensuring that life goes on even as everything around them is falling apart.

Continued: http://www.times.co.sz/letters/128416-protecting-rights-of-women.html