UNFPA at the 2021 ICASA Summit: Highlighting SRHR Service Delivery in the Context of the Covid-19 Pandemic
The International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Africa (ICASA) is a large bilingual international conference on AIDS taking place in Africa. Its current biennial welcome alternates between English-speaking and French-speaking African countries. The 21st virtual edition of the summit focused on “Africa’s response to AIDS: the race to 2030 – evidence”.
Among other roles the United Nations Population Fund has played, the organization showcased at the summit, its continued delivery of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) services amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking on the subject, “Provide comprehensive SRHR services to marginalized groups in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic‘Ms. Adjoa Yenyi, Mr. Mutaru Goro Iddrisu and Mr. Michael Ige, all from UNFPA Ghana, addressed the impact of the pandemic on the sexual and health rights of young people in Ghana. According to the presentation, with a high unmet need for family planning, an increased incidence of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), limited access to health services and increased transmission of HIV among young people, educating young people about their SRHR needs were essential. first importance.
In the organization’s response to these challenges, the team described some initiatives designed and implemented by UNFPA Ghana. The team shared the Kayayei Assistance Project (KASPRO), which had provided SRHR services and information to 500 Vulnerable Chief Carrier Women (Kayayei) and door-to-door operations, which took place. proven to be useful in reaching the most disadvantaged. The presentation also highlighted the technological innovations ‘Wawaba’ and ‘BOAME’. Both innovations have revolutionized the way young people access SRHR-related services by providing access through a web platform and mobile application.
Among others, the Orange Support Center (OSC), an innovation born from a collaboration between UNFPA Ghana and the Domestic Violence Secretariat of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGSCP) to provide a effective legal, medical and psychosocial support for survivors. / victims of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), was also mentioned.
The presenters recounted that through these initiatives, more than 260 SGBV cases have been treated, more than 6,000 calls have been received and psychosocial, legal and medical assistance has been offered to victims and survivors of SGBV by the OSC. Thanks to KASPRO, dignity kits were distributed to 447 women and girls, they also received capacity building, SRHR education and. Through awareness campaigns, more than 13,017 people have benefited from SRH, SGBV and pregnancy prevention, more than 43,200 condoms have been distributed and sensitization on existing support systems for SRH and pregnancy. SGBV has been sensitized.
In conclusion, it is undeniable that the pandemic has challenged the development community to be innovative to ensure that SRHR information and services continue to be prioritized and delivered. It is also evident that systems need to be strengthened to cope with the inevitable circumstances resulting from the pandemic.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).