Nearly 12 months after the London Summit on Family Planning, the Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) initiative has announced the membership of its internal Working Groups. The Alliance and its partners are represented on three of the four groups which will be instrumental in guiding and delivering on the global effort to “reach 120 million more women and girls with access to lifesaving contraceptive information, services and supplies by 2020”.
It is widely acknowledged that the leading causes of maternal and child death in many of the world’s poorest countries are the lack of quality antenatal care and family planning services, increasing rates of HIV infection and the gap in access to life-saving HIV treatment.
Anton Ofield-Kerr, Alliance Head of Policy said “We know that integrating family planning and HIV programmes makes sense. This representation will ensure that the commitments made by governments at the London Summit will also address the policy, financing, delivery and socio-cultural barriers to women and girls accessing high quality HIV services in conjunction with family planning services.”
Working Group representation
The Country Engagement Working Group includes former Alliance trustee, Fatimata Sy (of IntraHealth International) and Grethe Petersen, from Marie Stopes International (a partner in the Alliance-led Link Up programme).
The Performance Monitoring & Accountability Working Group includes Duduzile Simelane, Regional Manager for East and Southern Africa at the Alliance and Dr. Ian Askew from the Population Council (also a partner in Link Up).
Finally, the Rights & Empowerment Working Group includes E. Tyler Crone of the ATHENA Network (a policy partner in the Link Up programme), James Kityo, a Key Correspondent from Uganda (a network of citizen journalists which is coordinated by the Alliance) and Dr. John Townsend of the Population Council.
The fourth group is the Market Dynamics Working Group.
Dudu Simelane, who sits on the Performance Monitoring & Accountability Working Group, said “I am delighted to have this opportunity to promote the importance of integrating HIV and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), particularly for those women and girls who are most vulnerable to and affected by HIV and sexual and reproductive ill-health. It is important to keep key populations and people living with HIV at the centre of integration efforts – to address the stigma and discrimination that reduces their access to services , and to promote their rights and participation.”
Read more about the Alliance’s work on integrating SRHR and HIV services, and about the Link Up programme, an ambitious three-year initiative for advancing the SRHR of young people affected by HIV in five countries.
Read about the session we co-organised at the Summit last year about family planning and HIV integration and download the recommendations for integration (RAISE the Bar) which have since been endorsed by over 70 civil society organisations.
Read this article by Key Correspondent, James Kityo which appeared on the Gates Blog, Impatient Optimists, last month: Experts Call for Family Planning Gaps to be Addressed Ahead of 2020