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Articles by Syria

Lama Mouakea - ED of Syria Family Planning Association
12 May 2020

COVID-19 Impact: What we know so far – Syria

An interview with Lama Mouaeka, the Executive Director of Syria Family Planning Association (SFPA), on the impact of COVID-19. How has Syria been affected by coronavirus/COVID-19? Nine years of war have left Syria’s infrastructure including healthcare systems battered. In March, as the whole world was beginning to go into lockdown, Syria closed its boarders, schools, restaurants and restricted the movement of people between provinces in order to prevent the spread of the virus. According to official figures published by the Syrian Ministry of Health, Syria has only recorded 47 cases of COVID-19. What impact is coronavirus having when it comes to sexual and reproductive health services?  The healthcare system is still operating but with reduced working hours. When public transport was forced to stop and people were advised to stay home, the number of clients to health facilities decreased, with sexual and reproductive health being impacted the most. We are now trying to find new ways of reaching people with these restrictions in place. In some cases, we have had to use private transportation to reach people but the cost of this is not sustainable.   What kind of services provided by SFPA have been worst hit? The most affected services are: Educational sessions on SRHR that we provide at the health facilities  Services related to gender-based violence since the lockdown we have no doubt that domestic violence in the home has increased  Training and capacity building for staff and volunteers Are frontline staff still able to go into the community? Yes, but we can currently only provide services at the client’s home. We pay for the additional cost of private transportation for SFPA medical staff to get to work as public transportation has now stopped. Recently, our mobile clinics resumed some of their services. What will you be doing to keep providing services to people in Syria? When the lockdown was announced we had to stop running our mobile clinics but we recently resumed this service. To keep the health facilities open we have implemented a new shift rota for staff. The clinics are also following an extremely high-standard of sterilization procedures in all of our facilities to reduce the risk of catching or spreading coronavirus. We are also started using social media to spread information on COVID-19.  Can you tell us about any innovative measures that have been introduced in Syria to provide services in a different way than usual? SFPA Facebook page is now dedicated to sharing as much information as possible on SRHR but also coronavirus We followed up with clients over the phone instead of them coming to the clinic We have provided specific training by a specialist for SFPA staff on COVID-19 that covered the medical and psychological aspect of the virus, so that we are better equipped to deal with these matters We coordinated with government sectors to fill in the gaps while the government was responding to COVID-19. For example, we would coordinate ambulances pick-up and drop-offs for pregnant women to and from the hospital While SFPA women and girls' safe spaces were closed to avoid gathering during the trainings programmes, so we used the space to sew masks and make hand sanitizers, which were distributed among SFPA staff to keep them safe  What message do you have for people and your staff in Syria when it comes to sexual and reproductive health services and coronavirus/COVID-19? We are the first line of defence as healthcare workers and providers. We must look at this pandemic as an opportunity to innovate in the way we respond and provide services – especially to women and children, who often suffer the most during times like this. We need to keep our focus on providing SRH services that keep our community safe and healthy.

IDP camp in Yemen, served by IPPF
17 May 2017

Humanitarian crises are not temporary, nor are sexual and reproductive health needs

Women and girls are disproportionately affected in humanitarian crises and face multiple sexual and reproductive health challenges in these contexts. IPPF has been providing much needed support to vulnerable communities through our global federation of member associations, who provide contextualised, timely and tailored interventions drawing on local partners' knowledge and expertise. However, recent shifts in the global political landscape are concerning and threaten to undermine IPPF's mission and impact on the ground. We live in a time when crises, whether brought on by human causes or natural disaster, have displaced more people than at any point since the Second World War. The needs of those driven from their homes are not transitory. Refugees now find themselves facing impermanent conditions for an average of 20 years. They must resort to living in temporary shelters or makeshift accommodation, and their refugee status often leaves them ineligible to access public healthcare and education. The UN reports there are more than 125 million people worldwide in need of humanitarian assistance. Of those, a quarter are women and girls between the ages of 15 and 49. And one in five of these women and girls is likely to be pregnant. A woman who has been forced to flee is particularly vulnerable. More than 60% of maternal deaths take place in humanitarian and fragile contexts, according to the UN Population Fund (UNFPA). At least half of these women’s lives could easily be saved. And yet women and girls affected by humanitarian crises face other risks too. A breakdown in civil order following disasters consistently increases the occurrence of sexual violence, exposure to sexually transmitted infections including HIV, and unintended pregnancies. After the 2015 cyclone in the Pacific Island nation of Vanuatu, a counselling centre recorded a 300% spike in gender-based violence referrals. Likewise, a study with Syrian refugee women displaced by conflict found that more than 50% experienced reproductive tract infections, almost a third had experienced gender-based violence, and the majority had not sought medical care. IPPF is at the forefront of delivering life-saving services. Our sexual and reproductive health program in crisis and post-crisis situations (SPRINT), established in 2007 and supported by the Australian Government, has ensured access to essential sexual and reproductive health services for women, men and children in times of crisis. Under the banner of our new IPPF Humanitarian division, the SPRINT initiative is now part of a global movement that seeks to provide all those affected by crises worldwide with dignity, protection and care. As a federation of 142 locally-owned but globally connected member associations, IPPF has a unique model for providing these vital humanitarian services. Our focus on valuing local solutions means our responses are rapid and sustainable. We see it as vital to be on the ground before, during, and after crises. Member associations work to mitigate against sexual and reproductive health (SRH) issues ahead of a crisis to reduce negative impacts, and remain afterward to assist communities to recover and rebuild their lives. When Cyclone Winston struck Fiji in February last year, IPPF’s local member association, the Reproductive and Family Health Association of Fiji (RFHAF), was already preparing to mobilise teams of volunteers and health staff. Initially, sexual and reproductive health was not prioritised at a national level, thus the first challenge was to convince the Government of Fiji and lead agencies of the critical importance of including sexual and reproductive health issues in the response. With support from IPPF and SPRINT personnel, RFHAF successfully advocated with the government to include reproductive health concerns into the post-cyclone needs assessment, and supported the Government in carrying this assessment out. Coordination and collaboration was critical as the damage was across an extensive area on several islands. Working in partnership with the Ministry of Health (MoH), UNFPA, Red Cross Society and local non-government agencies, RFHAF provided SRH care to remote areas identified as being worst hit by the cyclone. Colleagues from SPRINT and RFHAF split into three teams, moving into the field simultaneously to conduct 37 mobile medical missions to reach women and girls, with vulnerable pregnant women and new mothers prioritised. Comprehensive follow up beyond the initial response post-cyclone was a particular challenge for an organisation of just 11 staff. To address this, RFHAF leveraged their existing partnership with the MoH to facilitate training and handover of SRH service provision to district nurses and sub-divisional health centres, once these facilities were again operational. The response in Fiji utilised the Minimum Initial Service Package for Reproductive Health, which IPPF helped to pioneer. Commonly referred to as ‘the MISP’, the package is a series of priority life-saving interventions that IPPF seek to implement as soon as possible following a crisis.

Staff of Syrian Family Planning Association distributing essentials to women.

Plea for Aleppo

My Name is Dr Lama Mouakea. I am the Executive Director for the Syrian Family Planning Association. We are now in the fifth year since the start of unrest in Syria, the situation continues to worsen. With half million people being killed and more than ten million having fled their homes, the conflict has now escalated, violently affecting the people in Aleppo, Syria’s largest city. We still are in Aleppo. The situation is difficult. We are struggling to survive. People are coming here because they are not safe. Thousands have left East Aleppo in fear. It is cold. People walk long distances. There is so much crowding and for my staff the hours are very long. There are too many people. Everywhere is crowded and this limits where we can find spaces to provide our services. The security situation in the city means that we are trying to deliver services and see as many people as we can. We know that who we treat today we may not see again. We are providing the highest number of services from mobile clinics, to contraceptive supplies, to essential medicines including vitamins. We have medical teams and volunteers providing sexual and reproductive health services, psychosocial and paediatric through a range of mobile clinics and mobile teams so we can reach people. The risks for women and girls from sexual violence is high. We have seen many cases in our psychosocial support of violence that this kind of displacement exposes them to. We provide tailored support to the survivors of sexual violence, which has increased enormously during the war. There isn't enough services for the people. The demand is high and we need more assistance. With such high numbers and suffering, our internally displaced need urgent help. My staff are also suffering. We cannot keep up and want to survive. We won't leave because our place is here to help our people. I can only hope that the world can hear me. Please consider the Syrian people and what we are going through. We need money to give hope to people and help them survive and save lives. Support IPPF's work in Aleppo   DR LAMA MOUAKEA | Executive Director, the Syrian Family Planning Association Mrs. Lama Mouakea has been the Executive Director of the Syrian Family Planning Association (SFPA) for the last 19 years and has a long history of working with sexual and reproductive health services. Currently she is responsible for supervision of 114 staff and coordination of 600 volunteers. Under her leadership the SFPA has played a major role in responding to the emergency situation in Syria, providing sexual and reproductive health services to people who are internally displaced due to the on-going conflict, with a focus on mother and child care and nutrition, psychosocial support, first aid and training of health personnel in the provision of clinical management for rape survivors and coverage of the minimum initial service package among a lot of other things.

Syrian Family Planning Association is still in Aleppo, providing assistance to war-torn population
16 December 2016

Syrian Family Planning Association is still in Aleppo, providing assistance to war-torn population

We still are in Aleppo. The situation is difficult. We are struggling to survive. People are coming here because they are not safe. Thousands have left East Aleppo in fear. It is cold. People walk long distances. There is so much crowding and for my staff the hours are very long. Read the full report from Dr Lama Mouakea, Syrian Family Planning Association   Please donate to support women and girls in Aleppo   Photo credits go to the Syrian Family Planning Association.

Girls Decide landing image
30 June 2016

Girls Decide

This programme addresses critical challenges faced by young women around sexual health and sexuality. It has produced a range of advocacy, education and informational materials to support research, awareness-raising, advocacy and service delivery.    Girls Decide is about the sexual and reproductive health and rights of girls and young women. Around the world, girls aged 10 to 19 account for 23% of all disease associated with pregnancy and childbirth. An estimated 2.5 million have unsafe abortions every year. Worldwide, young women account for 60% of the 5.5 million young people living with HIV and/or AIDS. Girls Decide has produced a range of advocacy, education and informational materials to support work to improve sexual health and rights for girls and young women. These include a series of films on sexual and reproductive health decisions faced by 6 young women in 6 different countries. The films won the prestigious International Video and Communications Award (IVCA). When girls and young women have access to critical lifesaving services and information, and when they are able to make meaningful choices about their life path, they are empowered. Their quality of life improves, as does the well-being of their families and the communities in which they live. Their collective ability to achieve internationally agreed development goals is strengthened. Almost all IPPF Member Associations provide services to young people and 1 in every 3 clients is a young person below the age of 25. All young women and girls are rights-holders and are entitled to sexual and reproductive rights. As a matter of principle, the IPPF Secretariat and Member Associations stand by girls by respecting and fulfilling their right to high quality services; they stand up for girls by supporting them in making their own decisions related to sexuality and pregnancy; they stand for sexual and reproductive rights by addressing the challenges faced by young women and girls at local, national and international levels.

Syrian Family Planning Association

The Syrian Family Planning Association was created at 1974. SFPA's strategic framework for the period 2016-2022 includes:

Our vision: Syrian society enjoys sexual and reproductive health and rights based on free choices without any discrimination.

Our mission: To lead a locally owned, globally connected civil society movement that provides and enables services and champions sexual and reproductive health and rights for all especially undeserved.

Our values: Social inclusion, commitment, diversity, respect, passion, volunteerism, accountability.

To achieve the mission and vision the Syrian Family Planning strategic framework have the number of 4 outcomes each one includes 2 priority objectives as following:

Outcome 1: The government respects, protects and activates sexual and reproductive rights and equal gender opportunities.

  • Gaining support of decision-makers, opinion leaders and parliamentarians obligation to carry out the necessary amendments in legislation, policies and practices.
  • Empowerment of youth and women's leaders and their engagement as advocates for change. 

Outcome 2: 2,300,000 people have free choices regarding their sexual and reproductive health and rights and protected from gender based violence.

  • Enable young people to access comprehensive sexual education.
  • Raising community awareness through engagement of champions, opinion formers and the media to promote health, choice and rights.

Outcome 3: 24.5 million quality integrated sexual and reproductive health services delivered, particularly in humanitarian cases.

  • Deliver integrated package of sexual and reproductive health services, especially in humanitarian cases.
  • Enable sexual and reproductive health services among partners, particularly in humanitarian cases.

Outcome 4: A high performing, united, committed and accountable association.

  • Enhance operational effectiveness and double income at the national level.
  • Enhance our volunteer and activist supporter base.

SFPA branches distributed all over Syria in 13 governorates (Syria have 14 governorate, AlRaqa still out of the government control). 

SFPA is running several projects related sexual reproductive health, focusing on maternal and child health, during the crisis SFPA expand  its services delivery points and do integration for gender base violence counselling services in all its health services using psychosocial support, and case manager.

The SFPA Services delivery points at the 13th governorates are as following:

  • 43 paediatric static clinics.
  • 29 mobile team paediatricians.
  • 14 mobile teams for malnutrition screening.
  • 38 RH static clinics.
  • 25 medical RH mobile teams.
  • 1 obstetric and delivery hospital.
  • 1 mammogram.
  • 18 women and girls safe spaces /WGSS/.
  • 24 PSS mobile teams supporting WGSS.
  • 12 youth centers.

The framework of SFPA activities focus on the following fields:

  • SRH, Sexual reproductive health.
  • GBV, gender base violence.
  • Child health.
  • Malnutrition prevention for pregnant woman and children under 5.

Number of SFPA volunteers around 650, number of SFPA employees around 980. 

 

 

 

 

women and health officer during medical exam

Syria must not be a silent crisis for women and girls says IPPF

In reaction to yesterday’s pledges made from donor governments to Syria's aid conference in London, IPPF Director General Tewodros Melesse said more action should be taken to ensure that sexual and reproductive health and rights are at the centre of humanitarian efforts. Mr Melesse stated that “We have seen some great progress and we must celebrate that governments have come together to tackle one of the largest humanitarian crises we have seen in a long time. But we must not forget that in the response, sexual and reproductive health services should also be a top priority. Women and girls are disproportionately influenced by humanitarian crises exposed to early marriage, trafficking, rape, forced pregnancies, unattended service delivery during complicated pregnancies and delivery. We could save lives by putting money and efforts into an integrated comprehensive package on reproductive health into the standard humanitarian response. IPPF has been doing this for years, our staff work on both sides of the border and on the frontline. Beyond the immediate crisis we also work with those affected for the long term”. IPPF in Syria In Syria 46,500 women will suffer gender based violence, including rape, as a result of the ongoing conflict. This shows a great need to ensure that the human rights of women and girls are protected and able to access sexual and reproductive healthcare. IPPF Member, the Syrian Family Planning Association is on the front line when it comes to dealing with the less-reported consequence of every war- sexual and reproductive health and rights. Syrian Family Planning Association Executive Director Dr. Lama said “ When a woman comes to our services she  is typically lost and without hope. Our indicator of success  is that we help the hopeless to have  hope. We need more support to sustain and expand our services and to maintain the protection services we provided full of confidentiality and confidence. " Over the last 10 years, IPPF has reached millions of people during floods, conflicts, earthquakes, cyclones. When health care often collapsed, our Member Associations continued to  reach the underserved, which makes three quarters of IPPF clients.   For more information or interviews contact press office 02079398227

mother and child

A matter of life and death: IPPF's humanitarian response

Today, the Danish Family Planning Association (DFPA) together with the Danish All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, and the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs convened a conference with the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) on the challenges of sexual and reproductive health and  rights (SRHR) in humanitarian crises. HRH the Crown Princess of Denmark and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) were also in attendance. HKHK Mary: women are not vulnerable in hum crises because they are weak but because they lack equality #SRHRinCrises pic.twitter.com/EOhV38IpBi — Mette Gjerskov (@MetteGjerskov) February 4, 2016 More than 100 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance. It is estimated that 26 million are women and adolescent girls of reproductive age of which 500 die every day from complications related to  pregnancy and childbirths. For example, the Syrian civil war has resulted in a 39% rise in maternal mortality since 2010 and gender-based violence is affecting at least 7 out of 10 women in some crisis settings. This shows a great need for humanitarian actors to ensure that the human rights of women and girls are protected and able to access sexual and reproductive healthcare.   // IPPF: saving lives in crises Right now more than 250,000 women and girls need help. IPPF provides the emergency response needed, like family planning, which can reduce maternal deaths by 33%. SEXUAL & REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH SERVICES SAVES LIVES. AND IS A HUMAN RIGHT. Posted by IPPF on Thursday, 4 February 2016 The increasing number of humanitarian crises calls for serious rethinking of the current humanitarian response. The status of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) violations in humanitarian crises must be confronted and prevented. Over the past decade, IPPF has reached millions of people during floods, conflicts, earthquakes, cyclones when health care often collapsed, IPPF Member Associations continued to serve the unreachable particularly women which make three quarters of IPPF clients. We have an organizational strategy to address sexual and reproductive needs before, during and after humanitarian crises.  IPPF starts with its Minimum Initial Service Package, which is life-saving, and transition to its Integrated Package of Essential services, which is life-changing. This ensure that a sxual and reproductive health situation is better after the crisis than before. @LcrTrc Crown Princess & @ippf CEO champion #women's #health & #rights in #humanitarian crisis settings pic.twitter.com/4ajLr0rkXg — Matthew Lindley (@t__box) February 4, 2016 Director general, Tewodros Melesse said, "Access to these services,especially in the midst of war or natural disaster, is a human right which does not only saves lives in the short run, but also helps build resilience amongst refugees and displaced people. It’s one of the most important aspects of humanitarian assistance that is often forgotten when disaster and conflicts strike."

Lama Mouakea - ED of Syria Family Planning Association
12 May 2020

COVID-19 Impact: What we know so far – Syria

An interview with Lama Mouaeka, the Executive Director of Syria Family Planning Association (SFPA), on the impact of COVID-19. How has Syria been affected by coronavirus/COVID-19? Nine years of war have left Syria’s infrastructure including healthcare systems battered. In March, as the whole world was beginning to go into lockdown, Syria closed its boarders, schools, restaurants and restricted the movement of people between provinces in order to prevent the spread of the virus. According to official figures published by the Syrian Ministry of Health, Syria has only recorded 47 cases of COVID-19. What impact is coronavirus having when it comes to sexual and reproductive health services?  The healthcare system is still operating but with reduced working hours. When public transport was forced to stop and people were advised to stay home, the number of clients to health facilities decreased, with sexual and reproductive health being impacted the most. We are now trying to find new ways of reaching people with these restrictions in place. In some cases, we have had to use private transportation to reach people but the cost of this is not sustainable.   What kind of services provided by SFPA have been worst hit? The most affected services are: Educational sessions on SRHR that we provide at the health facilities  Services related to gender-based violence since the lockdown we have no doubt that domestic violence in the home has increased  Training and capacity building for staff and volunteers Are frontline staff still able to go into the community? Yes, but we can currently only provide services at the client’s home. We pay for the additional cost of private transportation for SFPA medical staff to get to work as public transportation has now stopped. Recently, our mobile clinics resumed some of their services. What will you be doing to keep providing services to people in Syria? When the lockdown was announced we had to stop running our mobile clinics but we recently resumed this service. To keep the health facilities open we have implemented a new shift rota for staff. The clinics are also following an extremely high-standard of sterilization procedures in all of our facilities to reduce the risk of catching or spreading coronavirus. We are also started using social media to spread information on COVID-19.  Can you tell us about any innovative measures that have been introduced in Syria to provide services in a different way than usual? SFPA Facebook page is now dedicated to sharing as much information as possible on SRHR but also coronavirus We followed up with clients over the phone instead of them coming to the clinic We have provided specific training by a specialist for SFPA staff on COVID-19 that covered the medical and psychological aspect of the virus, so that we are better equipped to deal with these matters We coordinated with government sectors to fill in the gaps while the government was responding to COVID-19. For example, we would coordinate ambulances pick-up and drop-offs for pregnant women to and from the hospital While SFPA women and girls' safe spaces were closed to avoid gathering during the trainings programmes, so we used the space to sew masks and make hand sanitizers, which were distributed among SFPA staff to keep them safe  What message do you have for people and your staff in Syria when it comes to sexual and reproductive health services and coronavirus/COVID-19? We are the first line of defence as healthcare workers and providers. We must look at this pandemic as an opportunity to innovate in the way we respond and provide services – especially to women and children, who often suffer the most during times like this. We need to keep our focus on providing SRH services that keep our community safe and healthy.

IDP camp in Yemen, served by IPPF
17 May 2017

Humanitarian crises are not temporary, nor are sexual and reproductive health needs

Women and girls are disproportionately affected in humanitarian crises and face multiple sexual and reproductive health challenges in these contexts. IPPF has been providing much needed support to vulnerable communities through our global federation of member associations, who provide contextualised, timely and tailored interventions drawing on local partners' knowledge and expertise. However, recent shifts in the global political landscape are concerning and threaten to undermine IPPF's mission and impact on the ground. We live in a time when crises, whether brought on by human causes or natural disaster, have displaced more people than at any point since the Second World War. The needs of those driven from their homes are not transitory. Refugees now find themselves facing impermanent conditions for an average of 20 years. They must resort to living in temporary shelters or makeshift accommodation, and their refugee status often leaves them ineligible to access public healthcare and education. The UN reports there are more than 125 million people worldwide in need of humanitarian assistance. Of those, a quarter are women and girls between the ages of 15 and 49. And one in five of these women and girls is likely to be pregnant. A woman who has been forced to flee is particularly vulnerable. More than 60% of maternal deaths take place in humanitarian and fragile contexts, according to the UN Population Fund (UNFPA). At least half of these women’s lives could easily be saved. And yet women and girls affected by humanitarian crises face other risks too. A breakdown in civil order following disasters consistently increases the occurrence of sexual violence, exposure to sexually transmitted infections including HIV, and unintended pregnancies. After the 2015 cyclone in the Pacific Island nation of Vanuatu, a counselling centre recorded a 300% spike in gender-based violence referrals. Likewise, a study with Syrian refugee women displaced by conflict found that more than 50% experienced reproductive tract infections, almost a third had experienced gender-based violence, and the majority had not sought medical care. IPPF is at the forefront of delivering life-saving services. Our sexual and reproductive health program in crisis and post-crisis situations (SPRINT), established in 2007 and supported by the Australian Government, has ensured access to essential sexual and reproductive health services for women, men and children in times of crisis. Under the banner of our new IPPF Humanitarian division, the SPRINT initiative is now part of a global movement that seeks to provide all those affected by crises worldwide with dignity, protection and care. As a federation of 142 locally-owned but globally connected member associations, IPPF has a unique model for providing these vital humanitarian services. Our focus on valuing local solutions means our responses are rapid and sustainable. We see it as vital to be on the ground before, during, and after crises. Member associations work to mitigate against sexual and reproductive health (SRH) issues ahead of a crisis to reduce negative impacts, and remain afterward to assist communities to recover and rebuild their lives. When Cyclone Winston struck Fiji in February last year, IPPF’s local member association, the Reproductive and Family Health Association of Fiji (RFHAF), was already preparing to mobilise teams of volunteers and health staff. Initially, sexual and reproductive health was not prioritised at a national level, thus the first challenge was to convince the Government of Fiji and lead agencies of the critical importance of including sexual and reproductive health issues in the response. With support from IPPF and SPRINT personnel, RFHAF successfully advocated with the government to include reproductive health concerns into the post-cyclone needs assessment, and supported the Government in carrying this assessment out. Coordination and collaboration was critical as the damage was across an extensive area on several islands. Working in partnership with the Ministry of Health (MoH), UNFPA, Red Cross Society and local non-government agencies, RFHAF provided SRH care to remote areas identified as being worst hit by the cyclone. Colleagues from SPRINT and RFHAF split into three teams, moving into the field simultaneously to conduct 37 mobile medical missions to reach women and girls, with vulnerable pregnant women and new mothers prioritised. Comprehensive follow up beyond the initial response post-cyclone was a particular challenge for an organisation of just 11 staff. To address this, RFHAF leveraged their existing partnership with the MoH to facilitate training and handover of SRH service provision to district nurses and sub-divisional health centres, once these facilities were again operational. The response in Fiji utilised the Minimum Initial Service Package for Reproductive Health, which IPPF helped to pioneer. Commonly referred to as ‘the MISP’, the package is a series of priority life-saving interventions that IPPF seek to implement as soon as possible following a crisis.

Staff of Syrian Family Planning Association distributing essentials to women.

Plea for Aleppo

My Name is Dr Lama Mouakea. I am the Executive Director for the Syrian Family Planning Association. We are now in the fifth year since the start of unrest in Syria, the situation continues to worsen. With half million people being killed and more than ten million having fled their homes, the conflict has now escalated, violently affecting the people in Aleppo, Syria’s largest city. We still are in Aleppo. The situation is difficult. We are struggling to survive. People are coming here because they are not safe. Thousands have left East Aleppo in fear. It is cold. People walk long distances. There is so much crowding and for my staff the hours are very long. There are too many people. Everywhere is crowded and this limits where we can find spaces to provide our services. The security situation in the city means that we are trying to deliver services and see as many people as we can. We know that who we treat today we may not see again. We are providing the highest number of services from mobile clinics, to contraceptive supplies, to essential medicines including vitamins. We have medical teams and volunteers providing sexual and reproductive health services, psychosocial and paediatric through a range of mobile clinics and mobile teams so we can reach people. The risks for women and girls from sexual violence is high. We have seen many cases in our psychosocial support of violence that this kind of displacement exposes them to. We provide tailored support to the survivors of sexual violence, which has increased enormously during the war. There isn't enough services for the people. The demand is high and we need more assistance. With such high numbers and suffering, our internally displaced need urgent help. My staff are also suffering. We cannot keep up and want to survive. We won't leave because our place is here to help our people. I can only hope that the world can hear me. Please consider the Syrian people and what we are going through. We need money to give hope to people and help them survive and save lives. Support IPPF's work in Aleppo   DR LAMA MOUAKEA | Executive Director, the Syrian Family Planning Association Mrs. Lama Mouakea has been the Executive Director of the Syrian Family Planning Association (SFPA) for the last 19 years and has a long history of working with sexual and reproductive health services. Currently she is responsible for supervision of 114 staff and coordination of 600 volunteers. Under her leadership the SFPA has played a major role in responding to the emergency situation in Syria, providing sexual and reproductive health services to people who are internally displaced due to the on-going conflict, with a focus on mother and child care and nutrition, psychosocial support, first aid and training of health personnel in the provision of clinical management for rape survivors and coverage of the minimum initial service package among a lot of other things.

Syrian Family Planning Association is still in Aleppo, providing assistance to war-torn population
16 December 2016

Syrian Family Planning Association is still in Aleppo, providing assistance to war-torn population

We still are in Aleppo. The situation is difficult. We are struggling to survive. People are coming here because they are not safe. Thousands have left East Aleppo in fear. It is cold. People walk long distances. There is so much crowding and for my staff the hours are very long. Read the full report from Dr Lama Mouakea, Syrian Family Planning Association   Please donate to support women and girls in Aleppo   Photo credits go to the Syrian Family Planning Association.

Girls Decide landing image
30 June 2016

Girls Decide

This programme addresses critical challenges faced by young women around sexual health and sexuality. It has produced a range of advocacy, education and informational materials to support research, awareness-raising, advocacy and service delivery.    Girls Decide is about the sexual and reproductive health and rights of girls and young women. Around the world, girls aged 10 to 19 account for 23% of all disease associated with pregnancy and childbirth. An estimated 2.5 million have unsafe abortions every year. Worldwide, young women account for 60% of the 5.5 million young people living with HIV and/or AIDS. Girls Decide has produced a range of advocacy, education and informational materials to support work to improve sexual health and rights for girls and young women. These include a series of films on sexual and reproductive health decisions faced by 6 young women in 6 different countries. The films won the prestigious International Video and Communications Award (IVCA). When girls and young women have access to critical lifesaving services and information, and when they are able to make meaningful choices about their life path, they are empowered. Their quality of life improves, as does the well-being of their families and the communities in which they live. Their collective ability to achieve internationally agreed development goals is strengthened. Almost all IPPF Member Associations provide services to young people and 1 in every 3 clients is a young person below the age of 25. All young women and girls are rights-holders and are entitled to sexual and reproductive rights. As a matter of principle, the IPPF Secretariat and Member Associations stand by girls by respecting and fulfilling their right to high quality services; they stand up for girls by supporting them in making their own decisions related to sexuality and pregnancy; they stand for sexual and reproductive rights by addressing the challenges faced by young women and girls at local, national and international levels.

Syrian Family Planning Association

The Syrian Family Planning Association was created at 1974. SFPA's strategic framework for the period 2016-2022 includes:

Our vision: Syrian society enjoys sexual and reproductive health and rights based on free choices without any discrimination.

Our mission: To lead a locally owned, globally connected civil society movement that provides and enables services and champions sexual and reproductive health and rights for all especially undeserved.

Our values: Social inclusion, commitment, diversity, respect, passion, volunteerism, accountability.

To achieve the mission and vision the Syrian Family Planning strategic framework have the number of 4 outcomes each one includes 2 priority objectives as following:

Outcome 1: The government respects, protects and activates sexual and reproductive rights and equal gender opportunities.

  • Gaining support of decision-makers, opinion leaders and parliamentarians obligation to carry out the necessary amendments in legislation, policies and practices.
  • Empowerment of youth and women's leaders and their engagement as advocates for change. 

Outcome 2: 2,300,000 people have free choices regarding their sexual and reproductive health and rights and protected from gender based violence.

  • Enable young people to access comprehensive sexual education.
  • Raising community awareness through engagement of champions, opinion formers and the media to promote health, choice and rights.

Outcome 3: 24.5 million quality integrated sexual and reproductive health services delivered, particularly in humanitarian cases.

  • Deliver integrated package of sexual and reproductive health services, especially in humanitarian cases.
  • Enable sexual and reproductive health services among partners, particularly in humanitarian cases.

Outcome 4: A high performing, united, committed and accountable association.

  • Enhance operational effectiveness and double income at the national level.
  • Enhance our volunteer and activist supporter base.

SFPA branches distributed all over Syria in 13 governorates (Syria have 14 governorate, AlRaqa still out of the government control). 

SFPA is running several projects related sexual reproductive health, focusing on maternal and child health, during the crisis SFPA expand  its services delivery points and do integration for gender base violence counselling services in all its health services using psychosocial support, and case manager.

The SFPA Services delivery points at the 13th governorates are as following:

  • 43 paediatric static clinics.
  • 29 mobile team paediatricians.
  • 14 mobile teams for malnutrition screening.
  • 38 RH static clinics.
  • 25 medical RH mobile teams.
  • 1 obstetric and delivery hospital.
  • 1 mammogram.
  • 18 women and girls safe spaces /WGSS/.
  • 24 PSS mobile teams supporting WGSS.
  • 12 youth centers.

The framework of SFPA activities focus on the following fields:

  • SRH, Sexual reproductive health.
  • GBV, gender base violence.
  • Child health.
  • Malnutrition prevention for pregnant woman and children under 5.

Number of SFPA volunteers around 650, number of SFPA employees around 980. 

 

 

 

 

women and health officer during medical exam

Syria must not be a silent crisis for women and girls says IPPF

In reaction to yesterday’s pledges made from donor governments to Syria's aid conference in London, IPPF Director General Tewodros Melesse said more action should be taken to ensure that sexual and reproductive health and rights are at the centre of humanitarian efforts. Mr Melesse stated that “We have seen some great progress and we must celebrate that governments have come together to tackle one of the largest humanitarian crises we have seen in a long time. But we must not forget that in the response, sexual and reproductive health services should also be a top priority. Women and girls are disproportionately influenced by humanitarian crises exposed to early marriage, trafficking, rape, forced pregnancies, unattended service delivery during complicated pregnancies and delivery. We could save lives by putting money and efforts into an integrated comprehensive package on reproductive health into the standard humanitarian response. IPPF has been doing this for years, our staff work on both sides of the border and on the frontline. Beyond the immediate crisis we also work with those affected for the long term”. IPPF in Syria In Syria 46,500 women will suffer gender based violence, including rape, as a result of the ongoing conflict. This shows a great need to ensure that the human rights of women and girls are protected and able to access sexual and reproductive healthcare. IPPF Member, the Syrian Family Planning Association is on the front line when it comes to dealing with the less-reported consequence of every war- sexual and reproductive health and rights. Syrian Family Planning Association Executive Director Dr. Lama said “ When a woman comes to our services she  is typically lost and without hope. Our indicator of success  is that we help the hopeless to have  hope. We need more support to sustain and expand our services and to maintain the protection services we provided full of confidentiality and confidence. " Over the last 10 years, IPPF has reached millions of people during floods, conflicts, earthquakes, cyclones. When health care often collapsed, our Member Associations continued to  reach the underserved, which makes three quarters of IPPF clients.   For more information or interviews contact press office 02079398227

mother and child

A matter of life and death: IPPF's humanitarian response

Today, the Danish Family Planning Association (DFPA) together with the Danish All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, and the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs convened a conference with the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) on the challenges of sexual and reproductive health and  rights (SRHR) in humanitarian crises. HRH the Crown Princess of Denmark and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) were also in attendance. HKHK Mary: women are not vulnerable in hum crises because they are weak but because they lack equality #SRHRinCrises pic.twitter.com/EOhV38IpBi — Mette Gjerskov (@MetteGjerskov) February 4, 2016 More than 100 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance. It is estimated that 26 million are women and adolescent girls of reproductive age of which 500 die every day from complications related to  pregnancy and childbirths. For example, the Syrian civil war has resulted in a 39% rise in maternal mortality since 2010 and gender-based violence is affecting at least 7 out of 10 women in some crisis settings. This shows a great need for humanitarian actors to ensure that the human rights of women and girls are protected and able to access sexual and reproductive healthcare.   // IPPF: saving lives in crises Right now more than 250,000 women and girls need help. IPPF provides the emergency response needed, like family planning, which can reduce maternal deaths by 33%. SEXUAL & REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH SERVICES SAVES LIVES. AND IS A HUMAN RIGHT. Posted by IPPF on Thursday, 4 February 2016 The increasing number of humanitarian crises calls for serious rethinking of the current humanitarian response. The status of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) violations in humanitarian crises must be confronted and prevented. Over the past decade, IPPF has reached millions of people during floods, conflicts, earthquakes, cyclones when health care often collapsed, IPPF Member Associations continued to serve the unreachable particularly women which make three quarters of IPPF clients. We have an organizational strategy to address sexual and reproductive needs before, during and after humanitarian crises.  IPPF starts with its Minimum Initial Service Package, which is life-saving, and transition to its Integrated Package of Essential services, which is life-changing. This ensure that a sxual and reproductive health situation is better after the crisis than before. @LcrTrc Crown Princess & @ippf CEO champion #women's #health & #rights in #humanitarian crisis settings pic.twitter.com/4ajLr0rkXg — Matthew Lindley (@t__box) February 4, 2016 Director general, Tewodros Melesse said, "Access to these services,especially in the midst of war or natural disaster, is a human right which does not only saves lives in the short run, but also helps build resilience amongst refugees and displaced people. It’s one of the most important aspects of humanitarian assistance that is often forgotten when disaster and conflicts strike."