Sexual and reproductive health and rights is a crucial public health issue that demands urgent and sustained attention and investment.
Here is what you need to know
- All people, women and girls as well as men and boys must have access to sexual and reproductive health services.
- For women and girls in particular this includes maternal health services such as pregnancy testing, antenatal care, access to safe birth, and postnatal care especially in epicentres of the pandemic where access to services may be impacted.
- Essential health-care services, including reproductive health services, have also been limited as a result of containment measures and movement restrictions.
- Women represent 70% of the global health workforce. It is critical to support their needs on the front lines of the COVID-19 response, including how their work environment may be impacted, their safety requirements, and their reproductive and psychosocial needs.
- Life-saving medicines and contraceptives are less available given the closure of production sites and the breakdown of global and local supply chains.
- As a result, shortages of vital supplies for sexual and reproductive health loom large.
- In times of crisis, young people have specific sexual and reproductive needs, including issues around rape, incest, sexual harassment and abuse or other forms of gender-based violence and may not be able to access services and support if health centres, schools and other facilities are closed.
- It is essential that women, adolescent girls as well as men and adolescent boys can still access a range of SRHR services and commodities such as: ● male and female condoms and other contraceptives, including emergency contraception ● testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections including HIV Testing services ● pregnancy options counselling and where legal, safe abortion and post abortion care ● cervical and testicular cancer screening ● medical male circumcision ● and other related information, counselling and services during the COVID-19 pandemic response.
- Some information that you may have sought from the health facilities may be found online on sexuality, relationships and sexual and reproductive health and rights.
- It is your right to have access to sexual and reproductive services and commodities. You need to make sure that you have a good supply of these commodities (like contraceptive pills and condoms) to avoid unintended pregnancies.
- If you are having trouble accessing any sexual and reproductive health services, contact 116 Child HelpLine.
- Young people have rights related to their sexual and reproductive health but young people should also take responsibility of staying healthy
UNFPA is committed to ensuring that modern contraceptives and other reproductive health commodities are available to those who need them.