New initiative bridges the gap in sexual and reproductive health | The Guardian Nigeria News
Country policymakers, donors and global health organizations on Monday on the sidelines of the Generation Equality Forum – a major global inflection point for gender equality – announced a new initiative to accelerate progress on to ensure access to a full range of sexual and reproductive health care. (SSR).
Despite significant improvements over the past decade, essential SRH health tools remain out of reach for millions of people around the world, and health system disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic threaten to expand the ‘difference.
Shaping Equitable Market Access for Reproductive Health, known as SEMA Reproductive Health, will help countries overcome some of the biggest barriers in SRH markets to ensure people around the world can access the products they need and need to control their health and future. Donors have pledged more than US $ 50 million to SEMA to date, and the partnership aims to raise at least US $ 50 million in core funding over the next five years.
Dr Kayode Afolabi, Director and Head of the Reproductive Health Division at the Federal Ministry of Health of Nigeria, said: “When women and girls do not have access to SRH commodities – like contraceptives and medicines to manage pregnancy-related complications – entire communities are suffering.
“Healthy SRH markets are essential to strong health systems, and we look forward to working with SEMA Reproductive Health to make markets work better for women and girls. “
SEMA will bring together a diverse set of partners to:
• Proactively monitor the health of the SSR market by aggregating data sets and creating a holistic unified view of user demand and current market supply across regions and sectors.
• Identify market barriers across geographies and co-design strategic solutions, leveraging the unique strengths of existing networks and organizations in the country and around the world.
• Help countries and global partners finance and implement interventions by helping governments mobilize domestic funds, attract new actors and coordinate global investments to maximize impact.
SRH products are essential to the health and well-being of women and girls, helping to prevent unintended pregnancies and unsafe abortions and prevent maternal deaths.
“Comprehensive SRH choices that match people’s preferences increase the likelihood that women and girls will complete school and achieve their ambitions,” said Kate Hampton, CEO of the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation. “If we are to achieve a gender-equal world, we must have access to these choices based on their needs, rather than what donors decide. I am excited about the launch of SEMA Reproductive Health as it is an opportunity to rethink how we solve the challenges of the SRH market, help countries and communities take ownership, and empower women to make decisions about their health. own health and their future.
Over the past decade, global institutions have worked alongside countries and local organizations to enable more than 60 million additional women and girls in 69 low- and middle-income countries to use modern contraception. Many countries have also increased the diversity of contraceptive options available, such as implants and self-injectable contraception, helping more women and girls find methods that work for them.
“It is necessary to ensure that all women and girls in the world respect their right to freely control their bodies, which includes better access to modern contraceptives”, said Jean-Yves Le Drian, French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs. “Echoing the United Nations 2030 Agenda and the human development goals that we are aiming for, this is an essential condition for real gender equality between women and men, and that France has placed at the heart of its feminist diplomacy.
Unfortunately, persistent weaknesses in current markets still prevent many women and girls from accessing high-quality, affordable and diverse SRH options that match their preferences. Systems and data for SRH products are highly fragmented with limited coordination between public and private health care delivery channels.
This can lead to inefficiencies and unpredictability in the availability of supplies, and prices that keep products out of reach for many. National and global partners also lack adequate information to fully understand people’s preferences and choices for SRH products – information essential to providing the right quantities of the right products to better serve people.
Strategies to address access issues often occur on a product-by-product basis, with unintended consequences for the entire market. In addition, these efforts have relied heavily on a few global institutions rather than being driven by country governments themselves, limiting how interventions actually or sustainably meet the needs of communities.
Meeting these challenges could have a dramatic impact. 218 million women in low- and middle-income countries who wish to avoid or delay pregnancy do not use modern contraceptives and an estimated 810 women die every day from causes related to pregnancy, unsafe abortion and pregnancy. delivery. Currently, from development to launch, new contraceptives often take years longer to reach markets in low- and middle-income countries than other global health products.
SEMA’s initial partners include the governments of Burkina Faso, Nigeria and Uganda, with financial support from the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the French Ministry of Europe and of Foreign Affairs (MEAE). SEMA also works closely with other key partners, including the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition (RHSC) and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office of the United Kingdom (FCDO).
“Far too many women around the world are denied the basic right to make decisions about their bodies and their futures. Achieving gender equality requires that we pool our talents and resources to advocate for sexual and reproductive health and rights, ”said Dr Natalia Kanem, Executive Director of UNFPA, the United Nations agency for human rights. sexual and reproductive health. “The SEMA initiative will play an important role in promoting innovation and improving access to reproductive health commodities for women and girls who need them.
In the coming months, SEMA will recruit an initial CEO and work to welcome new donors, technical partners and ministries of health in low- and middle-income countries into the partnership. SEMA will officially launch its activities by the end of the year, with operations based in Africa.
SEMA Reproductive Health is an innovative new partnership designed to create healthier, fairer and more resilient markets for sexual and reproductive health (SRH). Working with countries, donors and global health institutions, SEMA will strive to overcome some of the biggest challenges in the SRH markets to ensure that people around the world have reliable access to comprehensive SRH products, quality and affordable.