Global Comprehensive Abortion Care Initiative

Global Comprehensive Abortion Care Initiative (GCACI) aims to increase access comprehensive abortion care as well as contraceptive services particularly to the poor, marginalized, under-served and socially excluded women.

The initiative began in 2009 in IPPF Africa Region Member Association (MAs) in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ghana, Ethiopia and Kenya within the IPPF Africa Region.

Over the last few years, the five MAs have successfully translated their commitment to addressing the unmet need for safe abortion and contraceptive services into action. They have also expanded access to non-judgemental client-centred safe abortion and related care.

Through GCACI, IPPFAR hopes to achieve four objectives by 2015 namely

  • Increased access to comprehensive abortion care
  • Increased access to treatment for incomplete abortion services
  • Increased uptake of post-abortion contraception
  • Increased access to family planning services

GCACI uses various approaches including

  • Values Clarification and Attitudes Transformation (VCAT)

Through VCAT trainings Member Association (MA) staff, management and volunteers are able to reflect on their values and attitudes on the issue of abortion. The trainings help to move participants towards support, acceptance and advocacy for comprehensive abortion care and related sexual and reproductive health care and rights. This approach recognizes that values affecting attitudes and beliefs about abortion and related issues can change over time in response to new experiences and deeper understanding of the issues and contexts. For these five MAs, these trainings have helped to highlights the importance of a woman’s right to make informed reproductive health decisions, and explains the legal requirements for providing abortion care in their specific countries.

  • Service Providers Training

MA staff have been trained received training on comprehensive abortion care (medical and surgical) pain management, post-abortion contraception and clients’ rights to SRH services. To increase the availability of and to dispel myths around contraceptive methods, counsellors and staff nurses receive training on contraceptive technologies, with special emphasis on long acting methods such as IUDs, implants etc.

  • Advocacy and Community Awareness Creation

The myths and misinformation surrounding abortion and long acting and permanent contraception remains a huge challenge to increasing access to services in the region. Community level awareness raising and referral activities significantly contributed to improving access to comprehensive abortion care services. In Cameroon for example, it was observed that 60 per cent of the clients served over the last year at the Cameroon National Planning Association for Family Welfare clinics were those referred by community agents. In Ethiopia, the interactive radio programmes broadcast by Family Guidance Association Ethiopia were assessed as being the most effective demand generation strategy. Planned Parenthood Association Ghana is currently working with religious and traditional leaders to expose them to the realities of unsafe abortion and to create awareness on and demand for contraceptive and safe abortion services.

  • Health facility equipping, renovation and provision of supplies and commodities

Support has been provided to all the MAs to improve health facility infrastructure, procure equipment and supplies, medicines and other essentials to ensure provision of high quality services