Our Focus Areas

IPPFAR is the leading Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) service delivery organization in Africa, and the leading Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) advocacy voice in the region. These are our focus areas:

Advocacy

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.

Contraception

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.

Gender Equality

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.

Sexual Rights

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.

Women's Health

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.