View the latest family planning advocacy news from our partners.
Advocacy for family planning and sexual and reproductive health and rights has a strong track record of achievements. Yet how do aspirations for a resilient local civil society align with donor investments and values like local ownership and sustainability?
On May 7, 2020, the Narok County Director of Health issued a circular immediately reinstating non-emergency health services, including family planning, which were suspended on March 26th. The county ordered the suspension to deploy health care providers to COVID-19 response efforts as well as minimize risks to routine clients. Non-emergency services are now available at facilities in Narok County, and clients are returning to use them.
On May 27, 2020, H.E Wycliffe Oparanya, the Chairperson of the Council of Governors (COG), issued a memorandum to all 47 counties instructing them to continue essential health services including family planning during COVID-19 response efforts. The memorandum calls on the counties to adopt recommendations agreed upon by governors during the full council meeting, including to:
In January 2020, the Zambian government announced a Universal Health Coverage (UHC) benefits package that covers contraceptive pills, implants, injectables, intrauterine devices (IUDs), and emergency contraception. It is the first UHC financing reform in the region to cover family planning and the first major country-level advocacy win for sexual and reproductive health and rights following the 2019 UN High-Level Meeting on UHC.
Between September 2019 and January 2020, Advance Family Planning (AFP) awarded six new Opportunity Fund grants to organizations in Ouagadougou Partnership (OP) countries to support advocacy strategies developed during the March 2019 Zero Pregnancies in Schools meeting in Cotonou, Benin.
In June 2019, 68 local government authorities (LGAs) in Tanzania invested in family planning to potentially unlock 37 billion Tanzanian Shillings (TSH) (US $16.2 million) from the Global Financing Facility (GFF). Increasing local investment and family planning performance enables LGAs to access additional domestic and global funds dedicated to improving reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health (RMNCAH).
Bangladesh’s Clinical Contraception Services Delivery program trained its first batch of surgeons this month to use tubal hook and uterine elevator during tubal ligation procedures. This method of tubal ligation is widely considered to be safer, less painful, and more cost-effective than traditional techniques.
Officials in the Dar es Salaam Region of Tanzania recently took several steps to increase family planning access. In May 2019, the Regional Administrative Secretary (RAS) directed the region’s five municipalities to increase family planning funding and instructed all councils to prioritize postpartum family planning (PPFP) during budget development and review of the fiscal year (FY) 2020-21 budget session. The Regional Medical Officer reinforced this directive in his guidance to the councils’ health management teams in June 2019.
On April 29, 2019, the Mbale district resident district commissioner (RDC) issued a directive requiring all district media houses to allocate part of government airtime for health issues, including family planning. This directive is an important advocacy win; it will allow the district working group to leverage existing government resources to disseminate family planning messages—without having to secure additional funding.
In June 2019, the Chairman of Badagry Local Government Area (LGA) in Lagos State approved the monthly release of 10,000 Naira (NGN) (US $28) from the LGA health budget for family planning. Local media coverage of family planning needs prompted the Badagry LGA Chairman to act on an earlier pledge to release the stipend, which will purchase consumables such as cotton wool, disinfectants, gloves, and gauze.
Cross River State and Lagos State in Nigeria allocated 362 million Nigerian Naira (NGN) (US $999,000) to family planning for the 2019 financial year. Advance Family Planning (AFP) partner Pathfinder Nigeria led the advocacy process in collaboration with local advocacy working groups (AWGs) to build a compelling case for investment.
The Zanzibar Ministry of Health (MoH) approved an annual action plan in June 2019 to increase access to long-acting and permanent contraceptive methods (LAPMs) in nine hospitals on Unguja and Pemba islands. The plan aims to accelerate family planning uptake in support of the implementation of Zanzibar’s Costed Implementation Plan 2017-2022. Prior to this advocacy win, six of the nine hospitals did not offer LAPMs as part of their routine family planning services.