About IPPF Africa Region
The International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR) is the leading sexual and reproductive health (SRH) service delivery organization in Africa, and the leading sexual and reproductive health and rights advocacy voice in the region.
Headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, the overarching goal of IPPFAR is to increase access to SRHR services to the most vulnerable youth, men and women in sub-Saharan Africa.
Supported by thousands of volunteers, IPPFAR tackles the continent’s growing sexual and reproductive health challenges through a network of Member Associations (MAs) in 42 countries.
We do this by developing our MAs into efficient entities with the capacity to deliver and sustain high quality, youth focused and gender sensitive services.
We work with governments, the African Union, regional economic commissions, the Pan-African Parliament, United Nations bodies among others to expand political and financial commitments to sexual and reproductive health and rights in Africa. IPPFAR led advocacy for the creation of the first continental framework for sexual and reproductive health, the Maputo Plan of Action (MPOA).
IPPFAR’s SERVICE DELIVERY MODELS
Quality of Care (QoC) Initiative
Delivering good quality of care to all clients, wherever they are, is a fundamental principle of IPPF's work. Good quality of care not only enhances clients' satisfaction and their use of services, but also increases job satisfaction and motivation among service providers. It further leads to greater sustainability of services. To this end, IPPFAR has developed and rolled out a Quality of Care (QoC) tool to ensure all Member Associations and their partners provide services that meet a standardized quality of care in all Service Delivery Points in the Region.
In 2017, IPPFAR is deliberately focusing on scaling up implementation of the QoC system in a standardized approach to all MAs and partners participating in our social franchise model of service delivery.
Social Franchising Strategy
Social franchising in the health sector is a model for organizing networks of private healthcare providers to deliver a wide range of standards-based services under a common brand. This service delivery model is largely aimed at expanding health services to underserved segments of the population including the poor, marginalized and hard to reach communities. IPPFAR is keen on maternal health care, and social franchising provides a favourable opportunity to improve maternal health outcomes in underserved populations.
SRH & HIV Integration
Significant gains have been made in the war against HIV and AIDS in the past decade, more so in sub-Saharan Africa, which is infamous for being the epicenter of the epidemic. Today, almost half of the People Living with HIV are now on treatment, the rate of new infections have stabilized, with more innovative approaches including those surrounding testing being rolled out. However, despite these achievements, AIDS remains a leading cause of death among women of reproductive age in sub-Saharan Africa, contributing significantly to maternal and infant mortality and morbidity.
It is against this back drop and the global drive to end AIDS by 2030 that IPPFAR has prioritized the scale up of innovative HIV prevention, treatment, care and support programmes – particularly those targeting young people, key populations and underserved groups.
In 2015, our network of Member Associations delivered over 20 million HIV and STI services in over 38,000 service delivery points reaching mainly young people and underserved groups. In 2016 and 2017, our focus is on scaling up prevention especially among young people, and expanding treatment based on the new WHO guidelines. Our services are modelled on a holistic approach of sexual reproductive health and HIV linkages, which aims strengthening health systems to deliver quality integrated SRH & HIV services.
We also promote the integration of Cervical Cancer Screening and Preventive and Therapy (CCS&PT) with reproductive health services. This project targets women in low and middle income communities aged between 30 - 49 years who are more at risk of being affected by cancer of the cervix.
The Cluster Model
The cluster model is a public/private partnership strategy to increase family planning service utilization by creating clusters of operations within specific geographic areas. Typically, a cluster has five clinics within a radius of 20 kilometres, thus facilitating effective referral and easy access for clients.
The service delivery points within the clusters are of different categories, ranging from government health facilities and hospitals, faith based and nongovernmental health facilities, privately owned facilities, individual owned for profit clinics, and small health posts. Within each cluster, one of the clinics is a comprehensive health facility, while the other clinics serve as feeder clinics referring clients requiring specialized services to the comprehensive clinic. All clinics within the cluster provide standardized integrated (primary) health services to clients.
The cluster model design also incorporates an element of social marketing and branding to ensure a recognizable high quality of service and standard of care in service delivery.
OUR FOCUS AREAS
For over 60 years, IPPF has been the leading sexual and reproductive health and rights advocacy voice in the region. IPPFAR engages in regional advocacy activities to gain support from the African Union, African governments, Parliamentarians, UN agencies, regional organizations, the civil society, the private sector and faith-based organizations to promote sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in Africa. Through collaborative activities, IPPFAR seeks to influence policy positions and build consensus on SRHR issues at the national, regional and global levels.
Millions of African women, men and young people have little or no access to contraceptive services. Through lack of knowledge, information, commodities and lack of government support, they are unable to make informed choices on if and when they can have children. In addition, many are unable to protect themselves against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
One of IPPFAR’s central commitments is to promote and facilitate the provision of contraceptive services for all who need them at a time when they need them. Through our Member Associations, we offer all methods of modern birth control information and services. We believe that every individual should receive accurate information and education that will enable them make the best choices with regard to family planning.
HIV & AIDS
HIV is the leading cause of death in women of reproductive age in Sub-Saharan Africa and contributes significantly to maternal mortality. In Africa, it is the number one cause of disease burden for men ages 30 - 44 years and women aged between 25 – 44 years. IPPFAR aims at increasing access to care and support for persons living with HIV and AIDS, as well as reduced stigma and discrimination against them.
Our strategies include: HIV community based management, outreach services, reaching out to key populations, social marketing to increase condom use, community-based distribution and integration of HIV & AIDS care with other sexual and reproductive health services. As part of our Vision 2020 we want all governments in sub-Saharan Africa to provide comprehensive and integrated sexual and reproductive health and HIV services within public, private and not-for-profit health systems by 2020.
IPPFAR recognizes that comprehensive sexual reproductive health cannot be achieved without a critical analysis of the social, cultural, religious, political and other factors that hinder how men, women and young people perceive reproductive health services. We believe that gender equality and women’s empowerment is at the heart of development and to this end, IPPFAR and its Member Associations mainstream gender in all programmatic areas with the intention of achieving favourable results for girls, boys, men and women.
IPPFAR believes that girls and women must have access to equal opportunities and rights that can enable them to live healthy productive lives, where they can thrive in all areas of their lives and which in turn translates into meaningful development.
Prevention of Unsafe Abortions
Women, adolescents and youth from low-income and marginalised groups suffer the greatest consequences of unsafe abortion, such as loss or damage to the uterus and other reproductive organs. They also suffer the risk of infertility, anaemia, chronic pain and even death.
IPPFAR contributes to the reduction of abortion-related maternal morbidity and mortality in sub-Saharan Africa, through service delivery, capacity building and advocacy. The scope of our work covers prevention of unwanted/unplanned pregnancies, safe abortion services, treatment of incomplete abortions, post-abortion care, post-abortion family planning, pre and post abortion counselling, advocacy for legal reform, evidence generation and combating stigma through capacity building, systems strengthening, information education and behavior change communication.
IPPFAR Member Associations develop and implement programmes that provide abortion-related services in line with their national policies and legal frameworks. We continuously engage in advocacy and policy dialogue for more favorable policies and laws that can support the reduction of the high numbers of maternal mortalities and morbidities caused by unsafe abortions.
Our policy and strategy on abortion and family planning is centered on the promotion of women’s rights to decide the number and spacing of children, their right to access safe and legal abortions and ensuring the availability of comprehensive health services that address complications arising from unsafe abortion.
Sexuality is a fundamental aspect of the human being, and even though sexual rights are basic human rights, many people across the world are denied the enjoyment of these fundamental rights through violence, abuse and coercion, criminalization and discrimination. In realization of the potential public health benefits of addressing sexual rights in SRHR programmes, IPPFAR incorporates sexuality into SRHR programmes, promotes access to SRH services without discrimination (based on age, sex, gender, sexual orientation, economic status, religion) and prevention of sexual and gender-based violence.
Every day, 800 women across the globe die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. Almost all of these deaths – 99 per cent occur in developing countries, with more than half occurring in sub-Saharan Africa.
Our goal is to improve women’s health all through their reproductive years, with a focus on enhancing positive maternal health outcomes for all women across the continent. This we achieve by expanding the maternal health package to include antenatal care, obstetric care and related services, safe abortion practices, and post-abortion care; the adoption of good sexual and reproductive health seeking behaviour through the integration of STI/HIV/AIDS prevention, care and support interventions into SRH services, and increasing access to high quality family planning information and services.
Young People and Adolescents
Young people represent a significant proportion of the world’s population. However, they also represent a disproportionate burden of global poverty. Their limited access to education, employment, money and information on different issues such as sex, gender roles and relationships, as well as the lack of opportunities to make decisions about their own lives and access sexual and reproductive health services increases their vulnerability to poor sexual and reproductive health.
Through its youth programmes, IPPFAR continues to invest heavily in sexuality education, social programmes for youth, youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health services, and the promotion of gender equality. Our rights-based approach to youth sexual and reproductive health ensures that more young people are able to access SRH services (including integrated family planning and STI services including HIV) and information.
OTHER IPPFAR INITIATIVES
Learning Center Initiative
The Learning Center Initiative is aimed at building capacity through the International Planned Parenthood (IPPF) Member Association network in Africa. This it does by developing and sharing innovative and best practice approaches on Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH). Learning Centers strengthen the institutional and programmatic capacities of MAs, enabling them to in turn build the SRH capacity of other Member Associations, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), and other entities from the private sector.
Fred T. Sai Institute
The Fred T. Sai Institute is one of Africa’s pioneer public health research institutes, championing research on population and sexual reproductive health in Africa. An initiative of IPPFAR, the Institute seeks to generate evidence on effective health strategies aimed at improving the health of the population in sub-Saharan Africa. This it does through supporting innovative research, and whose results provide a basis for the development and implementation of sound SRH policies and programs.
The African Citizens Initiative (ACI)
IPPF Africa Region is committed to mobilizing its extensive network of volunteers and staff in support of the implementation of IPPF’s Strategic Framework 2016-20222 through the African Citizens Initiative (ACI) for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, an innovative approach to resource mobilization. The African Citizens Initiative is aimed at inspiring the generation of African solutions to African problems. The ACI is a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign which aligns with the Africa Union’s Agenda 2063 commitment to the principle of self-reliance as well as the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Through the African Citizens Initiative for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, IPPFAR will inspire and empower its impressive network of over 40,000 volunteers to reinvigorate their commitment to the continent’s health agenda.