COVID-19 RESPONSE – Resilience, Adaptation and Action: MSI’s response to Covid-19

Here are some examples from this report by Marie Stopes International of ways that lockdown restrictions were overcome in three countries:

In Zimbabwe, MSI’s programme integrated family planning into the local immunisation programme, ensuring rural women could still access services. In Nigeria, we partnered with the Ministry of Health to support 2,600 public health posts to remain open and when sexual and reproductive healthcare services were classed as essential, the Ministry of Health granted MSI’s team members free movement between states, ensuring contraception and post-abortion care were not sidelined by the Covid-19 response.

In Nepal, we played an active role in a co-ordinated response between government, NGOs and multi-lateral organisations, to ensure continued access to SRHR services, even in the context of a strict lockdown. As a leading member of the Reproductive Health Sub-Cluster, a multi-stakeholder group led by the Family Welfare Division and UNFPA, we helped influence the swift approval of ‘Guidelines on Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health’, which were then implemented across the country. As well as allowing clients and health workers to have temporary exemptions from Covid-19 travel restrictions, the guidelines allow medical abortion (MA) services to be provided in client’s homes. Trained service providers and volunteers are now allowed to provide door-to-door delivery of medical abortion drugs and services, and trained chemists can store and distribute MA drugs.

In Madagascar, travel restrictions meant women were unable to access maternity hospitals, post-abortion care or contraceptive services, so we accessed government permits for our MSI buses to be allowed on the roads, allowing both the delivery of services to women in their homes and the transportation of women to health facilities.

SOURCE: Marie Stopes International. Resilience, Adaptation and Action: MSI’s response to Covid-19. August 2020.