Ongoing pandemic healthcare pose threats and opportunities
What’s at stake:
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a substantial reduction in preventive healthcare globally, reversing hard-won progress against various viruses and diseases, including sexually-transmitted infections like HIV and HPV. The impacts of these shifts are now beginning to show themselves, and they are hitting communities differently based on geography, gender, race and class.
The pandemic also threatens to reverse decades of progress made towards gender equality, according to a global study that reveals women have been hit much harder socially and economically than men. If current trends continue, the world will not achieve gender equality by 2030 as laid out in the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
But it’s not all bad news: the pandemic has also enabled positive digital interventions for health and self-care, such as the mainstreaming of telemedicine for abortion and self-testing for cervical cancer. Further investments into digital health technologies can be a means of cutting costs, increasing affordability and broadening reach.
What we’re doing about it:
In the first half of 2020, IPPF responded rapidly by convening a strong, multi-faceted global coordination mechanism – a COVID-19 Task Force – that gathered and disseminated intelligence about the pandemic; lead strategic, joined-up actions and learning; and scaled up innovations, all with the aim of supporting our Member Associations to deliver services in exceptionally difficult contexts. Working together, we have found solutions to provide ever more options and routes for rights-based support and care that will endure long past the pandemic. Laying a foundation for the future of care, we aim to advance digital and self-care by partnering with experts to invest more in digital health interventions and integrating them into our broader care package.