Opportunities and Challenges of Delivering Postabortion Care and Postpartum Family Planning During the COVID-19 Pandemic

By Anne Pfitzer, Jhpiego, Eva Lathrop, PSI, Alison Bodenheimer, United Nations FoundationSaumya RamaRaoPopulation Council, Megan ChristofieldJhpiego, Patricia MacDonald, Bureau for Global Health, Bethany Arnold, Jhpiego, Neeta Bhatnagar, Jhpiego, Erin Mielke, Bureau for Global Health, Meridith Mikuliche, Bureau for Global Health  

 The scale and required response of the COVID-19 pandemic will inevitably pivot resources and attention away from essential reproductive, maternal, newborn and child healthcare, including access to voluntary family planning in the critical postabortion and postpartum periods. A decrease in access to these lifesaving services will surely result in a downstream increase in maternal and child morbidity and mortality.  

The vast reach and disruption of the pandemic on communities and healthcare systems requires us to harness opportunities to provide family planning education, services and supplies for women during postabortion, childbirth and postpartum periods. In order to do so, acceleration of integrated service delivery, creative and dynamic innovations of alternative service delivery approaches, investment in documentation of programmatic learnings and devotion of scarce health resources is not only required, but an investment against higher health systems burdens in subsequent waves of the pandemic. 

In this commentary from the Global Health Science and Practice (GHSP) journal, hear from PSI Global Medical Director Dr. Eva Lathrop and partners about: 

  1. Why we need to focus on family planning within services for pregnant, postabortion, and postpartum women now; 
  2. Practical approaches and modified family planning service delivery models for diverse postabortion and postpartum clients; 
  3. Learnings related to post-abortion care (PAC) and postpartum family planning (PPFP); and 
  4. Linkages between response on PAC and PPFP and health system resilience 

 

Read the full commentary from the GHSP Journal here 

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