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Latest stories from IPPF

Spotlight

A selection of stories from across the Federation

Humanitarian response team, Fiji.
Story

In pictures: Humanitarian photographers share their experiences of storytelling in the field

IPPF’s localized approach to humanitarian emergencies is led by our Member Associations' response teams and whenever possible, we deploy local photographers.
Healthcare worker with combipack.
story

| 23 September 2020

In pictures: Innovating during COVID-19

Women around the world have faced multiple barriers to accessing safe abortion care during the COVID-19 pandemic including the de-prioritization of sexual and reproductive healthcare, overwhelmed health systems and restrictions on movement. The COVID-19 crisis has sparked innovation among IPPF Member Associations who responded swiftly by developing new approaches to reach women with safe abortion care including telemedicine and home-based provision of medical abortion. Strong evidence generated from this work supports the continuation and strengthening of these approaches beyond the end of the pandemic. Cameroon Cameroon National Planning Association for Family Welfare (CAMNAFAW) To ensure that quality abortion care can be provided to women during travel restrictions, CAMNAFAW’s service providers travel to partner clinics in underserved areas and to clients’ homes to provide medical and surgical abortion care. This model of taking safe abortion care closer to women will continue even with easing of travel restrictions, as this has been found to be an effective and acceptable approach to increasing access.Photo: IPPF/Xaume Olleros/Cameroon Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Guinea Association Guinéenne pour le Bien-Etre Familial (AGBEF) Building on lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Guinea, AGBEF quickly took measures to prevent infection in its clinics to continue providing sexual and reproductive healthcare, including surgical and medical abortion, in a safe environment. AGBEF donated protective materials to communities, including hand-washing stations, face masks and antibacterial gel, alongside messaging on infection prevention. This community visibility reassures clients they can safely attend AGBEF clinics for abortion and contraceptive care.Photo: AGBEF/Guinea Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email India Family Planning Association of India (FPA India) FPA India and partners advocated to have sexual and reproductive healthcare, including abortion, recognized as essential by the government, which meant FPA India could continue healthcare delivery during the national lockdown. To reduce in-person clinic visits, FPA India established teleconsultation and counselling for abortion care, and is continuing to provide in-clinic care for both medical and surgical abortion. Photo: IPPF/Alison Joyce/India Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Nepal Family Planning Association of Nepal (FPAN) FPAN and partners advocated for interim approval of home provision of medical abortion and telemedicine for abortion counselling during COVID-19. FPAN is now implementing these approaches, ensuring continued access to abortion care in Nepal, where many people live in remote locations with limited mobility, which has been further restricted by COVID-19 lockdowns. Photo: FPAN/Nepal Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Pakistan Rahnuma – Family Planning Association of Pakistan (Rahnuma-FPAP) Rahnuma-FPAP and partners successfully advocated for the government to class sexual and reproductive healthcare as ‘essential’, which enabled the team to continue providing post-abortion care during the pandemic. Rahnuma-FPAP expanded its telemedicine and home-based provision for menstrual regulation counselling and post-abortion care. These new approaches have ensured continued access to services for clients unable to reach clinics.Photo: Rahnuma-FPAP/Pakistan Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Palestine Palestinian Family Planning and Protection Association (PFPPA) In response to the government-mandated closure of its clinics, PFPPA quickly established a toll-free call centre which provides consultations, counselling, referrals and follow-up, including consultation for abortion care through a harm reduction approach, ensuring that women are provided with accurate information. Due to its success, PFPPA is exploring options for continuing this healthcare delivery model beyond the pandemic, with the aim of keeping it free of charge for users.Photo: SAAF/Samar Hazboun/Palestine Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Sudan Sudan Family Planning Association (SFPA) Following a nation-wide shutdown in April, SFPA  established  a call centre to increase access to healthcare, including abortion and contraceptive counselling and referrals.  An unexpected outcome of the new call centre is that it has reached an increased number of young women who regularly call to discuss their reproductive health and rights. SFPA  is working  towards institutionalizing this model for continuation beyond the pandemic.Photo: SFPA/Sudan Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Togo Association Togolaise pour le Bien-Etre Familial (ATBEF) ATBEF adapted its mobile application ‘Infos Ado Jeunes’, adding a toll-free teleconsultation service for young clients to use to access abortion consultations and pre- and post-abortion counselling. This app has given young clients ongoing access to care when they face challenges travelling to clinics. It has also eased overall client flow in clinics at a time when social distancing is being implemented.Photo: ATBEF/Togo Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email

Healthcare worker with combipack.
story

| 27 June 2022

In pictures: Innovating during COVID-19

Women around the world have faced multiple barriers to accessing safe abortion care during the COVID-19 pandemic including the de-prioritization of sexual and reproductive healthcare, overwhelmed health systems and restrictions on movement. The COVID-19 crisis has sparked innovation among IPPF Member Associations who responded swiftly by developing new approaches to reach women with safe abortion care including telemedicine and home-based provision of medical abortion. Strong evidence generated from this work supports the continuation and strengthening of these approaches beyond the end of the pandemic. Cameroon Cameroon National Planning Association for Family Welfare (CAMNAFAW) To ensure that quality abortion care can be provided to women during travel restrictions, CAMNAFAW’s service providers travel to partner clinics in underserved areas and to clients’ homes to provide medical and surgical abortion care. This model of taking safe abortion care closer to women will continue even with easing of travel restrictions, as this has been found to be an effective and acceptable approach to increasing access.Photo: IPPF/Xaume Olleros/Cameroon Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Guinea Association Guinéenne pour le Bien-Etre Familial (AGBEF) Building on lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Guinea, AGBEF quickly took measures to prevent infection in its clinics to continue providing sexual and reproductive healthcare, including surgical and medical abortion, in a safe environment. AGBEF donated protective materials to communities, including hand-washing stations, face masks and antibacterial gel, alongside messaging on infection prevention. This community visibility reassures clients they can safely attend AGBEF clinics for abortion and contraceptive care.Photo: AGBEF/Guinea Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email India Family Planning Association of India (FPA India) FPA India and partners advocated to have sexual and reproductive healthcare, including abortion, recognized as essential by the government, which meant FPA India could continue healthcare delivery during the national lockdown. To reduce in-person clinic visits, FPA India established teleconsultation and counselling for abortion care, and is continuing to provide in-clinic care for both medical and surgical abortion. Photo: IPPF/Alison Joyce/India Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Nepal Family Planning Association of Nepal (FPAN) FPAN and partners advocated for interim approval of home provision of medical abortion and telemedicine for abortion counselling during COVID-19. FPAN is now implementing these approaches, ensuring continued access to abortion care in Nepal, where many people live in remote locations with limited mobility, which has been further restricted by COVID-19 lockdowns. Photo: FPAN/Nepal Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Pakistan Rahnuma – Family Planning Association of Pakistan (Rahnuma-FPAP) Rahnuma-FPAP and partners successfully advocated for the government to class sexual and reproductive healthcare as ‘essential’, which enabled the team to continue providing post-abortion care during the pandemic. Rahnuma-FPAP expanded its telemedicine and home-based provision for menstrual regulation counselling and post-abortion care. These new approaches have ensured continued access to services for clients unable to reach clinics.Photo: Rahnuma-FPAP/Pakistan Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Palestine Palestinian Family Planning and Protection Association (PFPPA) In response to the government-mandated closure of its clinics, PFPPA quickly established a toll-free call centre which provides consultations, counselling, referrals and follow-up, including consultation for abortion care through a harm reduction approach, ensuring that women are provided with accurate information. Due to its success, PFPPA is exploring options for continuing this healthcare delivery model beyond the pandemic, with the aim of keeping it free of charge for users.Photo: SAAF/Samar Hazboun/Palestine Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Sudan Sudan Family Planning Association (SFPA) Following a nation-wide shutdown in April, SFPA  established  a call centre to increase access to healthcare, including abortion and contraceptive counselling and referrals.  An unexpected outcome of the new call centre is that it has reached an increased number of young women who regularly call to discuss their reproductive health and rights. SFPA  is working  towards institutionalizing this model for continuation beyond the pandemic.Photo: SFPA/Sudan Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Togo Association Togolaise pour le Bien-Etre Familial (ATBEF) ATBEF adapted its mobile application ‘Infos Ado Jeunes’, adding a toll-free teleconsultation service for young clients to use to access abortion consultations and pre- and post-abortion counselling. This app has given young clients ongoing access to care when they face challenges travelling to clinics. It has also eased overall client flow in clinics at a time when social distancing is being implemented.Photo: ATBEF/Togo Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email

Muna receiving her implant
story

| 15 February 2019

"I’m so happy I now don’t have to worry about contraception for another five years”

In August 2017, weeks of continued and heavy rainfall across Nepal resulted in flash floods and landslides that affected 36 of the 75 districts. Many people lost their homes or were displaced. It was estimated that of those affected, 112,500 were women of reproductive age, including 8,694 pregnant women.  IPPF Humanitarian, through their Member Association, The Family Planning Association of Nepal (FPAN), activated its emergency response system early on. With funding support from the Australian Government, FPAN and IPPF Humanitarian initially mobilised their response in four of the worst affected districts (Sunsari, Saptari, Bardiya, and Dang). Mobile medical camps were established to meet the sexual and reproductive health needs of the affected population, including through the distribution of short and long acting methods of contraception, STI and HIV screening, and GBV referrals. In collaboration with the USAID-SIFPO project, services were then expanded into five more affected districts. IPPF Humanitarian spoke with 21-year old Muna in her home district of Sunsari in Nepal.  “I got married at 16 years old and have two children, a four-year-old girl and two-year-old boy.  In my caste, we get married early, so my parents took me to get an arranged marriage. I was in the 8th class at the time, and returned to school after I got married, but only lasted one year.  My husband works in construction and had to stop working for two weeks when the floods came. When he doesn’t work, he doesn’t get paid, so it’s been very difficult.  A FPAN social worker told me about the mobile medical camp today. I used to be on the three-month injectable but today I changed to the five-year implant in my arm.  When my youngest child was eight months old I found out I was pregnant again. I decided to discontinue that pregnancy, so I took the five small tablets given to me by my neighbourhood doctor. I was two months pregnant at the time.  From this, I had two days bleeding and cramp like pain, and then weakness. I decided to abort that pregnancy because my youngest will still only eight months old, and I didn’t want any more children.  If I had more than two children, it would be very difficult to feed and educate them, and would badly affect my body too. I’m so happy I now don’t have to worry about contraception for another five years.” Want to know more about safe abortion access? Join IPPF'S I Decide movement

Muna receiving her implant
story

| 27 June 2022

"I’m so happy I now don’t have to worry about contraception for another five years”

In August 2017, weeks of continued and heavy rainfall across Nepal resulted in flash floods and landslides that affected 36 of the 75 districts. Many people lost their homes or were displaced. It was estimated that of those affected, 112,500 were women of reproductive age, including 8,694 pregnant women.  IPPF Humanitarian, through their Member Association, The Family Planning Association of Nepal (FPAN), activated its emergency response system early on. With funding support from the Australian Government, FPAN and IPPF Humanitarian initially mobilised their response in four of the worst affected districts (Sunsari, Saptari, Bardiya, and Dang). Mobile medical camps were established to meet the sexual and reproductive health needs of the affected population, including through the distribution of short and long acting methods of contraception, STI and HIV screening, and GBV referrals. In collaboration with the USAID-SIFPO project, services were then expanded into five more affected districts. IPPF Humanitarian spoke with 21-year old Muna in her home district of Sunsari in Nepal.  “I got married at 16 years old and have two children, a four-year-old girl and two-year-old boy.  In my caste, we get married early, so my parents took me to get an arranged marriage. I was in the 8th class at the time, and returned to school after I got married, but only lasted one year.  My husband works in construction and had to stop working for two weeks when the floods came. When he doesn’t work, he doesn’t get paid, so it’s been very difficult.  A FPAN social worker told me about the mobile medical camp today. I used to be on the three-month injectable but today I changed to the five-year implant in my arm.  When my youngest child was eight months old I found out I was pregnant again. I decided to discontinue that pregnancy, so I took the five small tablets given to me by my neighbourhood doctor. I was two months pregnant at the time.  From this, I had two days bleeding and cramp like pain, and then weakness. I decided to abort that pregnancy because my youngest will still only eight months old, and I didn’t want any more children.  If I had more than two children, it would be very difficult to feed and educate them, and would badly affect my body too. I’m so happy I now don’t have to worry about contraception for another five years.” Want to know more about safe abortion access? Join IPPF'S I Decide movement

Peer educator and youth award winner Mala Neupane. Tansen, Palpa.
story

| 21 August 2017

How youth volunteers are leading the conversation on HIV with young people in Nepal

Mala Neupane is just 18 years old, but is already an experienced volunteer for the Family Planning Association of Nepal (FPAN). Mala lives in Tansen, the hillside capital of Palpa, a region of rolling hills, pine forests and lush terraced fields in western Nepal. She works as a community home-based care mobiliser focusing on HIV: her job involves travelling to villages around Tansen to provide people with information about HIV and contraception. “Before, the community had very little knowledge regarding HIV and there used to be so much stigma and discrimination,” she says. “But later, when the Community Health Based Carers (CHBCs) started working in those communities, they had more knowledge and less stigma.” The youth of the volunteers proved an effective tool during their conversations with villagers. “At first, when they talked to people about family planning, they were not receptive: they felt resistance to using those devices,” Mala explains. “The CHBCs said to them: ‘young people like us are doing this kind of work, so why are you feeling such hesitation?’ After talking with them, they became ready to use contraceptives.” Her age is also important for connecting with young people, in a society of rapid change, she says. “Because we are young, we may know more about what young people’s needs and wants are. We can talk to young people about what family planning methods might be suitable for them, and what the options are.” “Young people’s involvement [in FPAN programmes] is very important to helping out young people like us.” It’s a simple message, but one reaping rich rewards for the lives and wellbeing of people in Palpa.

Peer educator and youth award winner Mala Neupane. Tansen, Palpa.
story

| 27 June 2022

How youth volunteers are leading the conversation on HIV with young people in Nepal

Mala Neupane is just 18 years old, but is already an experienced volunteer for the Family Planning Association of Nepal (FPAN). Mala lives in Tansen, the hillside capital of Palpa, a region of rolling hills, pine forests and lush terraced fields in western Nepal. She works as a community home-based care mobiliser focusing on HIV: her job involves travelling to villages around Tansen to provide people with information about HIV and contraception. “Before, the community had very little knowledge regarding HIV and there used to be so much stigma and discrimination,” she says. “But later, when the Community Health Based Carers (CHBCs) started working in those communities, they had more knowledge and less stigma.” The youth of the volunteers proved an effective tool during their conversations with villagers. “At first, when they talked to people about family planning, they were not receptive: they felt resistance to using those devices,” Mala explains. “The CHBCs said to them: ‘young people like us are doing this kind of work, so why are you feeling such hesitation?’ After talking with them, they became ready to use contraceptives.” Her age is also important for connecting with young people, in a society of rapid change, she says. “Because we are young, we may know more about what young people’s needs and wants are. We can talk to young people about what family planning methods might be suitable for them, and what the options are.” “Young people’s involvement [in FPAN programmes] is very important to helping out young people like us.” It’s a simple message, but one reaping rich rewards for the lives and wellbeing of people in Palpa.

Sajana Kergi, 23 years old, youth volunteer and peer sex educator.
story

| 01 August 2017

"Girls in rural areas often face more problems than girls in the city"

“Girls in rural areas often face more problems than girls in the city,” says 23-year-old Sajana Kergi. “For example, when they’re menstruating they might have to stay at home and not touch any kitchen materials, or have to drop school.  “It varies from family to family, but generally the more traditional and superstitious a family is, the more problems a girl will have.”  For the past two years, Sajana has been volunteering as a peer educator and mentor for the Family Planning Association of Nepal (FPAN), since hearing about the programme on Facebook. After an orientation and training programme, she visited different rural schools to give girls training on menstruation management. She now runs classes in schools in and around Bhaktapur. The classes aim to create a relaxed environment for young people to talk and learn about sexual health and rights. This fills a major gap in their learning and knowledge, Sajana says. “At school, these subjects are in the curriculum, but teachers skip these lessons and don’t talk about these issues openly,” she explains. “The teachers don’t create a comfortable environment, and this makes students hesitant to talk about these issues, so there’s no proper knowledge.” FPAN classes are an opportunity for young people to speak openly about sexual health and sexuality therefore are vital. 

Sajana Kergi, 23 years old, youth volunteer and peer sex educator.
story

| 27 June 2022

"Girls in rural areas often face more problems than girls in the city"

“Girls in rural areas often face more problems than girls in the city,” says 23-year-old Sajana Kergi. “For example, when they’re menstruating they might have to stay at home and not touch any kitchen materials, or have to drop school.  “It varies from family to family, but generally the more traditional and superstitious a family is, the more problems a girl will have.”  For the past two years, Sajana has been volunteering as a peer educator and mentor for the Family Planning Association of Nepal (FPAN), since hearing about the programme on Facebook. After an orientation and training programme, she visited different rural schools to give girls training on menstruation management. She now runs classes in schools in and around Bhaktapur. The classes aim to create a relaxed environment for young people to talk and learn about sexual health and rights. This fills a major gap in their learning and knowledge, Sajana says. “At school, these subjects are in the curriculum, but teachers skip these lessons and don’t talk about these issues openly,” she explains. “The teachers don’t create a comfortable environment, and this makes students hesitant to talk about these issues, so there’s no proper knowledge.” FPAN classes are an opportunity for young people to speak openly about sexual health and sexuality therefore are vital. 

Sharad Kumar Argal, FPAN Kathmandu Valley branch manager
story

| 01 August 2017

How Family Planning Association of Nepal Youth programmes are saving teens on the brink of suicide

“One time, a sixteen-year-old girl came to see us with an unwanted pregnancy, on the point of suicide,” says Sharad Kumar Argal. “She had been abused by her family and the baby was the result of incest. She was about to commit suicide.”   The girl had never heard of safe abortion, explains Sharad, who works as Kathmandu Valley branch manager for the Family Planning Association of Nepal (FPAN), the country’s leading family planning NGO.  “Then, very luckily, she happened to come to our youth-friendly centre. From there, she found out about abortion services and she had an abortion through FPAN. FPAN brought her back from the brink of suicide.”  For Sharad, FPAN’s youth programmes are the lifeblood of the organisation. In his twenty years at the organisation, he has seen major changes in family planning law and sexual rights in Nepal, from the legalisation of abortion in 2002, to the introduction of National Family Planning Day in 2014.  One of the changes that he talks passionately about is FPAN’s work supporting young people, and the role of youth volunteers in these activities.  “If you go back 20 years, even talking to people about family planning and especially condoms was very difficult,” he says. “People were hesitant and didn’t want to hear about that in a public space. That made family planning very difficult: we needed to do home to home visits to make family planning available.” “But now, with the passage of time, this has become much better and easier. These days even our youth peer educators are involved in distributing condoms and pills.” The data underlines this change. “The use of family planning 20 years’ ago was only 20-25 per cent,” Sharad says. “Whereas now, more than 50 per cent have access to family planning services.” 

Sharad Kumar Argal, FPAN Kathmandu Valley branch manager
story

| 27 June 2022

How Family Planning Association of Nepal Youth programmes are saving teens on the brink of suicide

“One time, a sixteen-year-old girl came to see us with an unwanted pregnancy, on the point of suicide,” says Sharad Kumar Argal. “She had been abused by her family and the baby was the result of incest. She was about to commit suicide.”   The girl had never heard of safe abortion, explains Sharad, who works as Kathmandu Valley branch manager for the Family Planning Association of Nepal (FPAN), the country’s leading family planning NGO.  “Then, very luckily, she happened to come to our youth-friendly centre. From there, she found out about abortion services and she had an abortion through FPAN. FPAN brought her back from the brink of suicide.”  For Sharad, FPAN’s youth programmes are the lifeblood of the organisation. In his twenty years at the organisation, he has seen major changes in family planning law and sexual rights in Nepal, from the legalisation of abortion in 2002, to the introduction of National Family Planning Day in 2014.  One of the changes that he talks passionately about is FPAN’s work supporting young people, and the role of youth volunteers in these activities.  “If you go back 20 years, even talking to people about family planning and especially condoms was very difficult,” he says. “People were hesitant and didn’t want to hear about that in a public space. That made family planning very difficult: we needed to do home to home visits to make family planning available.” “But now, with the passage of time, this has become much better and easier. These days even our youth peer educators are involved in distributing condoms and pills.” The data underlines this change. “The use of family planning 20 years’ ago was only 20-25 per cent,” Sharad says. “Whereas now, more than 50 per cent have access to family planning services.” 

House damaged by an earthquake
story

| 25 July 2017

Mobile camps provide emergency services for those unable to return home

Muna Shrestha lives with her husband and two children in Bakultar, a rambling village of mud houses, tea shacks and vegetable, miles off a main road, at the end of a long dirt track in Kavre district, a few hours west of Kathmandu. On the morning of Saturday 25 April 2015, when the earthquake struck, she and her family were cleaning the cowshed. “It was so scary,” she says. “The children were not at home: we were so worried about the children and went looking for them. They were also looking for us.” The days after the earthquake were chaotic. “The schools were closed for a month,” Muna says. “And because all our clothes and possessions were in the ruins, it was difficult to get our things.” Their children were deeply traumatised. “They became scared, and, because of this fear, they wouldn’t eat and they suffered from nausea,” Muna says. As she speaks, she gestures around the family’s old home, at the deep fissures in the mud walls. “This home is cracked by the earthquake. Our family also have another house but that was completely destroyed.” Like many families across Nepal, the Shresthas have been unable to afford to rebuild and make their old home structurally safe. It is a story now ubiquitous across Nepal: a family losing their house and possessions, scarred by trauma, and unable to return home.

House damaged by an earthquake
story

| 27 June 2022

Mobile camps provide emergency services for those unable to return home

Muna Shrestha lives with her husband and two children in Bakultar, a rambling village of mud houses, tea shacks and vegetable, miles off a main road, at the end of a long dirt track in Kavre district, a few hours west of Kathmandu. On the morning of Saturday 25 April 2015, when the earthquake struck, she and her family were cleaning the cowshed. “It was so scary,” she says. “The children were not at home: we were so worried about the children and went looking for them. They were also looking for us.” The days after the earthquake were chaotic. “The schools were closed for a month,” Muna says. “And because all our clothes and possessions were in the ruins, it was difficult to get our things.” Their children were deeply traumatised. “They became scared, and, because of this fear, they wouldn’t eat and they suffered from nausea,” Muna says. As she speaks, she gestures around the family’s old home, at the deep fissures in the mud walls. “This home is cracked by the earthquake. Our family also have another house but that was completely destroyed.” Like many families across Nepal, the Shresthas have been unable to afford to rebuild and make their old home structurally safe. It is a story now ubiquitous across Nepal: a family losing their house and possessions, scarred by trauma, and unable to return home.

Healthcare worker with combipack.
story

| 23 September 2020

In pictures: Innovating during COVID-19

Women around the world have faced multiple barriers to accessing safe abortion care during the COVID-19 pandemic including the de-prioritization of sexual and reproductive healthcare, overwhelmed health systems and restrictions on movement. The COVID-19 crisis has sparked innovation among IPPF Member Associations who responded swiftly by developing new approaches to reach women with safe abortion care including telemedicine and home-based provision of medical abortion. Strong evidence generated from this work supports the continuation and strengthening of these approaches beyond the end of the pandemic. Cameroon Cameroon National Planning Association for Family Welfare (CAMNAFAW) To ensure that quality abortion care can be provided to women during travel restrictions, CAMNAFAW’s service providers travel to partner clinics in underserved areas and to clients’ homes to provide medical and surgical abortion care. This model of taking safe abortion care closer to women will continue even with easing of travel restrictions, as this has been found to be an effective and acceptable approach to increasing access.Photo: IPPF/Xaume Olleros/Cameroon Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Guinea Association Guinéenne pour le Bien-Etre Familial (AGBEF) Building on lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Guinea, AGBEF quickly took measures to prevent infection in its clinics to continue providing sexual and reproductive healthcare, including surgical and medical abortion, in a safe environment. AGBEF donated protective materials to communities, including hand-washing stations, face masks and antibacterial gel, alongside messaging on infection prevention. This community visibility reassures clients they can safely attend AGBEF clinics for abortion and contraceptive care.Photo: AGBEF/Guinea Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email India Family Planning Association of India (FPA India) FPA India and partners advocated to have sexual and reproductive healthcare, including abortion, recognized as essential by the government, which meant FPA India could continue healthcare delivery during the national lockdown. To reduce in-person clinic visits, FPA India established teleconsultation and counselling for abortion care, and is continuing to provide in-clinic care for both medical and surgical abortion. Photo: IPPF/Alison Joyce/India Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Nepal Family Planning Association of Nepal (FPAN) FPAN and partners advocated for interim approval of home provision of medical abortion and telemedicine for abortion counselling during COVID-19. FPAN is now implementing these approaches, ensuring continued access to abortion care in Nepal, where many people live in remote locations with limited mobility, which has been further restricted by COVID-19 lockdowns. Photo: FPAN/Nepal Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Pakistan Rahnuma – Family Planning Association of Pakistan (Rahnuma-FPAP) Rahnuma-FPAP and partners successfully advocated for the government to class sexual and reproductive healthcare as ‘essential’, which enabled the team to continue providing post-abortion care during the pandemic. Rahnuma-FPAP expanded its telemedicine and home-based provision for menstrual regulation counselling and post-abortion care. These new approaches have ensured continued access to services for clients unable to reach clinics.Photo: Rahnuma-FPAP/Pakistan Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Palestine Palestinian Family Planning and Protection Association (PFPPA) In response to the government-mandated closure of its clinics, PFPPA quickly established a toll-free call centre which provides consultations, counselling, referrals and follow-up, including consultation for abortion care through a harm reduction approach, ensuring that women are provided with accurate information. Due to its success, PFPPA is exploring options for continuing this healthcare delivery model beyond the pandemic, with the aim of keeping it free of charge for users.Photo: SAAF/Samar Hazboun/Palestine Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Sudan Sudan Family Planning Association (SFPA) Following a nation-wide shutdown in April, SFPA  established  a call centre to increase access to healthcare, including abortion and contraceptive counselling and referrals.  An unexpected outcome of the new call centre is that it has reached an increased number of young women who regularly call to discuss their reproductive health and rights. SFPA  is working  towards institutionalizing this model for continuation beyond the pandemic.Photo: SFPA/Sudan Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Togo Association Togolaise pour le Bien-Etre Familial (ATBEF) ATBEF adapted its mobile application ‘Infos Ado Jeunes’, adding a toll-free teleconsultation service for young clients to use to access abortion consultations and pre- and post-abortion counselling. This app has given young clients ongoing access to care when they face challenges travelling to clinics. It has also eased overall client flow in clinics at a time when social distancing is being implemented.Photo: ATBEF/Togo Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email

Healthcare worker with combipack.
story

| 27 June 2022

In pictures: Innovating during COVID-19

Women around the world have faced multiple barriers to accessing safe abortion care during the COVID-19 pandemic including the de-prioritization of sexual and reproductive healthcare, overwhelmed health systems and restrictions on movement. The COVID-19 crisis has sparked innovation among IPPF Member Associations who responded swiftly by developing new approaches to reach women with safe abortion care including telemedicine and home-based provision of medical abortion. Strong evidence generated from this work supports the continuation and strengthening of these approaches beyond the end of the pandemic. Cameroon Cameroon National Planning Association for Family Welfare (CAMNAFAW) To ensure that quality abortion care can be provided to women during travel restrictions, CAMNAFAW’s service providers travel to partner clinics in underserved areas and to clients’ homes to provide medical and surgical abortion care. This model of taking safe abortion care closer to women will continue even with easing of travel restrictions, as this has been found to be an effective and acceptable approach to increasing access.Photo: IPPF/Xaume Olleros/Cameroon Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Guinea Association Guinéenne pour le Bien-Etre Familial (AGBEF) Building on lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Guinea, AGBEF quickly took measures to prevent infection in its clinics to continue providing sexual and reproductive healthcare, including surgical and medical abortion, in a safe environment. AGBEF donated protective materials to communities, including hand-washing stations, face masks and antibacterial gel, alongside messaging on infection prevention. This community visibility reassures clients they can safely attend AGBEF clinics for abortion and contraceptive care.Photo: AGBEF/Guinea Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email India Family Planning Association of India (FPA India) FPA India and partners advocated to have sexual and reproductive healthcare, including abortion, recognized as essential by the government, which meant FPA India could continue healthcare delivery during the national lockdown. To reduce in-person clinic visits, FPA India established teleconsultation and counselling for abortion care, and is continuing to provide in-clinic care for both medical and surgical abortion. Photo: IPPF/Alison Joyce/India Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Nepal Family Planning Association of Nepal (FPAN) FPAN and partners advocated for interim approval of home provision of medical abortion and telemedicine for abortion counselling during COVID-19. FPAN is now implementing these approaches, ensuring continued access to abortion care in Nepal, where many people live in remote locations with limited mobility, which has been further restricted by COVID-19 lockdowns. Photo: FPAN/Nepal Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Pakistan Rahnuma – Family Planning Association of Pakistan (Rahnuma-FPAP) Rahnuma-FPAP and partners successfully advocated for the government to class sexual and reproductive healthcare as ‘essential’, which enabled the team to continue providing post-abortion care during the pandemic. Rahnuma-FPAP expanded its telemedicine and home-based provision for menstrual regulation counselling and post-abortion care. These new approaches have ensured continued access to services for clients unable to reach clinics.Photo: Rahnuma-FPAP/Pakistan Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Palestine Palestinian Family Planning and Protection Association (PFPPA) In response to the government-mandated closure of its clinics, PFPPA quickly established a toll-free call centre which provides consultations, counselling, referrals and follow-up, including consultation for abortion care through a harm reduction approach, ensuring that women are provided with accurate information. Due to its success, PFPPA is exploring options for continuing this healthcare delivery model beyond the pandemic, with the aim of keeping it free of charge for users.Photo: SAAF/Samar Hazboun/Palestine Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Sudan Sudan Family Planning Association (SFPA) Following a nation-wide shutdown in April, SFPA  established  a call centre to increase access to healthcare, including abortion and contraceptive counselling and referrals.  An unexpected outcome of the new call centre is that it has reached an increased number of young women who regularly call to discuss their reproductive health and rights. SFPA  is working  towards institutionalizing this model for continuation beyond the pandemic.Photo: SFPA/Sudan Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Togo Association Togolaise pour le Bien-Etre Familial (ATBEF) ATBEF adapted its mobile application ‘Infos Ado Jeunes’, adding a toll-free teleconsultation service for young clients to use to access abortion consultations and pre- and post-abortion counselling. This app has given young clients ongoing access to care when they face challenges travelling to clinics. It has also eased overall client flow in clinics at a time when social distancing is being implemented.Photo: ATBEF/Togo Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email

Muna receiving her implant
story

| 15 February 2019

"I’m so happy I now don’t have to worry about contraception for another five years”

In August 2017, weeks of continued and heavy rainfall across Nepal resulted in flash floods and landslides that affected 36 of the 75 districts. Many people lost their homes or were displaced. It was estimated that of those affected, 112,500 were women of reproductive age, including 8,694 pregnant women.  IPPF Humanitarian, through their Member Association, The Family Planning Association of Nepal (FPAN), activated its emergency response system early on. With funding support from the Australian Government, FPAN and IPPF Humanitarian initially mobilised their response in four of the worst affected districts (Sunsari, Saptari, Bardiya, and Dang). Mobile medical camps were established to meet the sexual and reproductive health needs of the affected population, including through the distribution of short and long acting methods of contraception, STI and HIV screening, and GBV referrals. In collaboration with the USAID-SIFPO project, services were then expanded into five more affected districts. IPPF Humanitarian spoke with 21-year old Muna in her home district of Sunsari in Nepal.  “I got married at 16 years old and have two children, a four-year-old girl and two-year-old boy.  In my caste, we get married early, so my parents took me to get an arranged marriage. I was in the 8th class at the time, and returned to school after I got married, but only lasted one year.  My husband works in construction and had to stop working for two weeks when the floods came. When he doesn’t work, he doesn’t get paid, so it’s been very difficult.  A FPAN social worker told me about the mobile medical camp today. I used to be on the three-month injectable but today I changed to the five-year implant in my arm.  When my youngest child was eight months old I found out I was pregnant again. I decided to discontinue that pregnancy, so I took the five small tablets given to me by my neighbourhood doctor. I was two months pregnant at the time.  From this, I had two days bleeding and cramp like pain, and then weakness. I decided to abort that pregnancy because my youngest will still only eight months old, and I didn’t want any more children.  If I had more than two children, it would be very difficult to feed and educate them, and would badly affect my body too. I’m so happy I now don’t have to worry about contraception for another five years.” Want to know more about safe abortion access? Join IPPF'S I Decide movement

Muna receiving her implant
story

| 27 June 2022

"I’m so happy I now don’t have to worry about contraception for another five years”

In August 2017, weeks of continued and heavy rainfall across Nepal resulted in flash floods and landslides that affected 36 of the 75 districts. Many people lost their homes or were displaced. It was estimated that of those affected, 112,500 were women of reproductive age, including 8,694 pregnant women.  IPPF Humanitarian, through their Member Association, The Family Planning Association of Nepal (FPAN), activated its emergency response system early on. With funding support from the Australian Government, FPAN and IPPF Humanitarian initially mobilised their response in four of the worst affected districts (Sunsari, Saptari, Bardiya, and Dang). Mobile medical camps were established to meet the sexual and reproductive health needs of the affected population, including through the distribution of short and long acting methods of contraception, STI and HIV screening, and GBV referrals. In collaboration with the USAID-SIFPO project, services were then expanded into five more affected districts. IPPF Humanitarian spoke with 21-year old Muna in her home district of Sunsari in Nepal.  “I got married at 16 years old and have two children, a four-year-old girl and two-year-old boy.  In my caste, we get married early, so my parents took me to get an arranged marriage. I was in the 8th class at the time, and returned to school after I got married, but only lasted one year.  My husband works in construction and had to stop working for two weeks when the floods came. When he doesn’t work, he doesn’t get paid, so it’s been very difficult.  A FPAN social worker told me about the mobile medical camp today. I used to be on the three-month injectable but today I changed to the five-year implant in my arm.  When my youngest child was eight months old I found out I was pregnant again. I decided to discontinue that pregnancy, so I took the five small tablets given to me by my neighbourhood doctor. I was two months pregnant at the time.  From this, I had two days bleeding and cramp like pain, and then weakness. I decided to abort that pregnancy because my youngest will still only eight months old, and I didn’t want any more children.  If I had more than two children, it would be very difficult to feed and educate them, and would badly affect my body too. I’m so happy I now don’t have to worry about contraception for another five years.” Want to know more about safe abortion access? Join IPPF'S I Decide movement

Peer educator and youth award winner Mala Neupane. Tansen, Palpa.
story

| 21 August 2017

How youth volunteers are leading the conversation on HIV with young people in Nepal

Mala Neupane is just 18 years old, but is already an experienced volunteer for the Family Planning Association of Nepal (FPAN). Mala lives in Tansen, the hillside capital of Palpa, a region of rolling hills, pine forests and lush terraced fields in western Nepal. She works as a community home-based care mobiliser focusing on HIV: her job involves travelling to villages around Tansen to provide people with information about HIV and contraception. “Before, the community had very little knowledge regarding HIV and there used to be so much stigma and discrimination,” she says. “But later, when the Community Health Based Carers (CHBCs) started working in those communities, they had more knowledge and less stigma.” The youth of the volunteers proved an effective tool during their conversations with villagers. “At first, when they talked to people about family planning, they were not receptive: they felt resistance to using those devices,” Mala explains. “The CHBCs said to them: ‘young people like us are doing this kind of work, so why are you feeling such hesitation?’ After talking with them, they became ready to use contraceptives.” Her age is also important for connecting with young people, in a society of rapid change, she says. “Because we are young, we may know more about what young people’s needs and wants are. We can talk to young people about what family planning methods might be suitable for them, and what the options are.” “Young people’s involvement [in FPAN programmes] is very important to helping out young people like us.” It’s a simple message, but one reaping rich rewards for the lives and wellbeing of people in Palpa.

Peer educator and youth award winner Mala Neupane. Tansen, Palpa.
story

| 27 June 2022

How youth volunteers are leading the conversation on HIV with young people in Nepal

Mala Neupane is just 18 years old, but is already an experienced volunteer for the Family Planning Association of Nepal (FPAN). Mala lives in Tansen, the hillside capital of Palpa, a region of rolling hills, pine forests and lush terraced fields in western Nepal. She works as a community home-based care mobiliser focusing on HIV: her job involves travelling to villages around Tansen to provide people with information about HIV and contraception. “Before, the community had very little knowledge regarding HIV and there used to be so much stigma and discrimination,” she says. “But later, when the Community Health Based Carers (CHBCs) started working in those communities, they had more knowledge and less stigma.” The youth of the volunteers proved an effective tool during their conversations with villagers. “At first, when they talked to people about family planning, they were not receptive: they felt resistance to using those devices,” Mala explains. “The CHBCs said to them: ‘young people like us are doing this kind of work, so why are you feeling such hesitation?’ After talking with them, they became ready to use contraceptives.” Her age is also important for connecting with young people, in a society of rapid change, she says. “Because we are young, we may know more about what young people’s needs and wants are. We can talk to young people about what family planning methods might be suitable for them, and what the options are.” “Young people’s involvement [in FPAN programmes] is very important to helping out young people like us.” It’s a simple message, but one reaping rich rewards for the lives and wellbeing of people in Palpa.

Sajana Kergi, 23 years old, youth volunteer and peer sex educator.
story

| 01 August 2017

"Girls in rural areas often face more problems than girls in the city"

“Girls in rural areas often face more problems than girls in the city,” says 23-year-old Sajana Kergi. “For example, when they’re menstruating they might have to stay at home and not touch any kitchen materials, or have to drop school.  “It varies from family to family, but generally the more traditional and superstitious a family is, the more problems a girl will have.”  For the past two years, Sajana has been volunteering as a peer educator and mentor for the Family Planning Association of Nepal (FPAN), since hearing about the programme on Facebook. After an orientation and training programme, she visited different rural schools to give girls training on menstruation management. She now runs classes in schools in and around Bhaktapur. The classes aim to create a relaxed environment for young people to talk and learn about sexual health and rights. This fills a major gap in their learning and knowledge, Sajana says. “At school, these subjects are in the curriculum, but teachers skip these lessons and don’t talk about these issues openly,” she explains. “The teachers don’t create a comfortable environment, and this makes students hesitant to talk about these issues, so there’s no proper knowledge.” FPAN classes are an opportunity for young people to speak openly about sexual health and sexuality therefore are vital. 

Sajana Kergi, 23 years old, youth volunteer and peer sex educator.
story

| 27 June 2022

"Girls in rural areas often face more problems than girls in the city"

“Girls in rural areas often face more problems than girls in the city,” says 23-year-old Sajana Kergi. “For example, when they’re menstruating they might have to stay at home and not touch any kitchen materials, or have to drop school.  “It varies from family to family, but generally the more traditional and superstitious a family is, the more problems a girl will have.”  For the past two years, Sajana has been volunteering as a peer educator and mentor for the Family Planning Association of Nepal (FPAN), since hearing about the programme on Facebook. After an orientation and training programme, she visited different rural schools to give girls training on menstruation management. She now runs classes in schools in and around Bhaktapur. The classes aim to create a relaxed environment for young people to talk and learn about sexual health and rights. This fills a major gap in their learning and knowledge, Sajana says. “At school, these subjects are in the curriculum, but teachers skip these lessons and don’t talk about these issues openly,” she explains. “The teachers don’t create a comfortable environment, and this makes students hesitant to talk about these issues, so there’s no proper knowledge.” FPAN classes are an opportunity for young people to speak openly about sexual health and sexuality therefore are vital. 

Sharad Kumar Argal, FPAN Kathmandu Valley branch manager
story

| 01 August 2017

How Family Planning Association of Nepal Youth programmes are saving teens on the brink of suicide

“One time, a sixteen-year-old girl came to see us with an unwanted pregnancy, on the point of suicide,” says Sharad Kumar Argal. “She had been abused by her family and the baby was the result of incest. She was about to commit suicide.”   The girl had never heard of safe abortion, explains Sharad, who works as Kathmandu Valley branch manager for the Family Planning Association of Nepal (FPAN), the country’s leading family planning NGO.  “Then, very luckily, she happened to come to our youth-friendly centre. From there, she found out about abortion services and she had an abortion through FPAN. FPAN brought her back from the brink of suicide.”  For Sharad, FPAN’s youth programmes are the lifeblood of the organisation. In his twenty years at the organisation, he has seen major changes in family planning law and sexual rights in Nepal, from the legalisation of abortion in 2002, to the introduction of National Family Planning Day in 2014.  One of the changes that he talks passionately about is FPAN’s work supporting young people, and the role of youth volunteers in these activities.  “If you go back 20 years, even talking to people about family planning and especially condoms was very difficult,” he says. “People were hesitant and didn’t want to hear about that in a public space. That made family planning very difficult: we needed to do home to home visits to make family planning available.” “But now, with the passage of time, this has become much better and easier. These days even our youth peer educators are involved in distributing condoms and pills.” The data underlines this change. “The use of family planning 20 years’ ago was only 20-25 per cent,” Sharad says. “Whereas now, more than 50 per cent have access to family planning services.” 

Sharad Kumar Argal, FPAN Kathmandu Valley branch manager
story

| 27 June 2022

How Family Planning Association of Nepal Youth programmes are saving teens on the brink of suicide

“One time, a sixteen-year-old girl came to see us with an unwanted pregnancy, on the point of suicide,” says Sharad Kumar Argal. “She had been abused by her family and the baby was the result of incest. She was about to commit suicide.”   The girl had never heard of safe abortion, explains Sharad, who works as Kathmandu Valley branch manager for the Family Planning Association of Nepal (FPAN), the country’s leading family planning NGO.  “Then, very luckily, she happened to come to our youth-friendly centre. From there, she found out about abortion services and she had an abortion through FPAN. FPAN brought her back from the brink of suicide.”  For Sharad, FPAN’s youth programmes are the lifeblood of the organisation. In his twenty years at the organisation, he has seen major changes in family planning law and sexual rights in Nepal, from the legalisation of abortion in 2002, to the introduction of National Family Planning Day in 2014.  One of the changes that he talks passionately about is FPAN’s work supporting young people, and the role of youth volunteers in these activities.  “If you go back 20 years, even talking to people about family planning and especially condoms was very difficult,” he says. “People were hesitant and didn’t want to hear about that in a public space. That made family planning very difficult: we needed to do home to home visits to make family planning available.” “But now, with the passage of time, this has become much better and easier. These days even our youth peer educators are involved in distributing condoms and pills.” The data underlines this change. “The use of family planning 20 years’ ago was only 20-25 per cent,” Sharad says. “Whereas now, more than 50 per cent have access to family planning services.” 

House damaged by an earthquake
story

| 25 July 2017

Mobile camps provide emergency services for those unable to return home

Muna Shrestha lives with her husband and two children in Bakultar, a rambling village of mud houses, tea shacks and vegetable, miles off a main road, at the end of a long dirt track in Kavre district, a few hours west of Kathmandu. On the morning of Saturday 25 April 2015, when the earthquake struck, she and her family were cleaning the cowshed. “It was so scary,” she says. “The children were not at home: we were so worried about the children and went looking for them. They were also looking for us.” The days after the earthquake were chaotic. “The schools were closed for a month,” Muna says. “And because all our clothes and possessions were in the ruins, it was difficult to get our things.” Their children were deeply traumatised. “They became scared, and, because of this fear, they wouldn’t eat and they suffered from nausea,” Muna says. As she speaks, she gestures around the family’s old home, at the deep fissures in the mud walls. “This home is cracked by the earthquake. Our family also have another house but that was completely destroyed.” Like many families across Nepal, the Shresthas have been unable to afford to rebuild and make their old home structurally safe. It is a story now ubiquitous across Nepal: a family losing their house and possessions, scarred by trauma, and unable to return home.

House damaged by an earthquake
story

| 27 June 2022

Mobile camps provide emergency services for those unable to return home

Muna Shrestha lives with her husband and two children in Bakultar, a rambling village of mud houses, tea shacks and vegetable, miles off a main road, at the end of a long dirt track in Kavre district, a few hours west of Kathmandu. On the morning of Saturday 25 April 2015, when the earthquake struck, she and her family were cleaning the cowshed. “It was so scary,” she says. “The children were not at home: we were so worried about the children and went looking for them. They were also looking for us.” The days after the earthquake were chaotic. “The schools were closed for a month,” Muna says. “And because all our clothes and possessions were in the ruins, it was difficult to get our things.” Their children were deeply traumatised. “They became scared, and, because of this fear, they wouldn’t eat and they suffered from nausea,” Muna says. As she speaks, she gestures around the family’s old home, at the deep fissures in the mud walls. “This home is cracked by the earthquake. Our family also have another house but that was completely destroyed.” Like many families across Nepal, the Shresthas have been unable to afford to rebuild and make their old home structurally safe. It is a story now ubiquitous across Nepal: a family losing their house and possessions, scarred by trauma, and unable to return home.