This week, TogetHER for Health hosted PSI’s Dr. Milly Nanyombi Kaggwa, alongside CEO Mary Eiken and Director of Global Outreach and Engagement Dicey Jackson Scroggins of the International Gynecologic Cancer Society (IGCS), and Professor Greta Dreyer from the University of Pretoria discussed the growing concern that the SRH needs of women and girls in low- and middle-income settings will become increasingly difficult to meet in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Each year, one woman is diagnosed with cervical cancer every minute and over 300,000 women die from this preventable disease. The current pandemic has made in-person SRH services – particularly cervical cancer treatment and prevention services – increasingly challenging to access, and the consequences could be devastating. Without action, deaths from cervical cancer could rise nearly 50% by 2040.
Even before COVID-19’s pandemic outbreak, 90% of women who died from cervical cancer lived in the developing world. The panel discussed several challenges presented by COVID-19 and how both NGOs and national governments are responding to them, including:
- How to find a balance between how COVID-19 and SRH-related diseases are managed and how interventions related to both are structured
- The potential impact of shifting national priorities regarding SRH
- Amplifying patient and community voices to help find and provide appropriate solutions and share appropriate information
- How frontline service providers are responding to the challenges of COVID-19, for example adapting SRH clinical guidelines and practices to meet client needs during this challenging time.
Check out the full webinar below.