In 2018, Kenya piloted its UHC program in some parts of the country, and by 2020, had enlisted more than 200 community health units, with 7,700 community health volunteers and over 700 health workers. Between 2018 and 2019, the project had supported 3.2 million Kenyans to access critical health care services.
And in the last two decades, Ethiopia has moved from outlawing the promotion of family planning to increasingly liberalized access to safe abortion within the UHC framework.
Yet, the cost of healthcare, including sexual and reproductive healthcare, is still unaffordable and inaccessible for many people. Even in these contexts, Kenya’s Reproductive Health National Policy still does not address sexual health and only mentions sex within the context of reproduction. In Ghana, there are still many gaps in the country’s health insurance program, including access to safe abortion.
While many other countries in Africa have included UHC as a goal in their national health strategies, progress in translating these commitments into expanded domestic resources for health, effective development assistance, equitable and quality health and increased financial protection, has been slow.
An investment, not a cost
Despite inclusion in the 2019 UN Political Declaration on UHC, many countries on the continent still do not offer a comprehensive package of essential sexual and reproductive health services as part of their UHC.
As a leading advocate and global sexual and reproductive health service provider, IPPF’s role is key in promoting progress towards universal health coverage that is inclusive and human rights-based. We also know that decades of research show the profound benefits of investing in sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) for all.