Nairobi, 25 June 2021 - The International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR) held its first ever Youth Forum and Regional Forum from 22 to 25 June 2021.
The forums, which took place virtually, were attended by over 120 participants drawn from 39 countries across the region. Participants included representatives from the Youth Action Movement (YAM) - the youth arm of IPPF Africa Region's volunteer body based within the Member Associations (MAs) -, Executive Directors from MAs in the Africa Region, MA Board Presidents, the IPPF Director General, the IPPF Board of Trustees, and the Africa Regional Secretariat staff.
The Youth Forum and the Regional Forum, which are the first-ever forums to be held within the Federation in line with the new IPPF governance reforms of November 2019, were aimed at fostering collaboration, sharing experiences, successes, challenges and best practices among IPPFAR’s MAs.
In November 2019, IPPF overhauled its governance and resource allocation system to address concerns of its MAs, donors and other stakeholders. The reforms resulted in the adoption of an MA-centric approach aimed at strengthening MAs and making them more efficient, effective, and accountable.
In his keynote speech, the IPPF Director General, Dr. Alvaro Bermejo, noted the resilience that MAs had demonstrated in delivering on their core mandate; that of providing quality sexual reproductive health (SRH) services to poor and vulnerable populations in sub-Saharan Africa.
“The unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic placed tremendous strain on healthcare systems globally, and I commend our Member Associations for their continued efforts to offer much-needed SRH services to those who need them”, said Bermejo.
In 2020, MAs in the Africa region provided a total number of 105,429,716 sexual reproductive health services. These included 56,670,238 family planning services, 1,783,523 safe abortion services and 1,939,051 Gender-Based Violence (GBV) services. Women received 89% of the services provided, while young people accounted for 55% of the total SRH services provided. Notably, and despite the challenging COVID-19 circumstances, the Africa Region provided 14,6 million couple-year protection (CYP) - its highest volume ever achieved – which is the estimated protection provided by contraceptive methods, based upon the volume of all contraceptives sold or distributed free of charge to clients during the year.
In light of the rapidly changing political and financial context in which MAs have had to and must continue to deliver lifesaving services, some of the successful adaptive strategies they have implemented included innovations in health service delivery such as home-based service delivery in Cameroon, self-managed contraception care in Zambia, and the adoption of Digital Health Strategies in the form of online Comprehensive Sexuality Education in Benin, or the use of different social media platforms for SRH information and services in Nigeria.
With young people at the heart of IPPF’s work, the IPPF Africa Regional Director Marie-Evelyne Pétrus-Barry emphasized the role of this invaluable group.
“In our organization, we have embraced young people as partners, and they are at the core of our global strategy and business plan. We highly value youth involvement across all areas of our work, including in our governance structures. We benefit from their ideas and contributions, with many of our achievements being significantly contributed by them,” she said in a speech delivered on her behalf by Mr. Sam Ntelamo, the Acting Regional Director.
Young people attending the forum also lauded IPPFAR for their inclusion in its operations.
“There is nothing about us without us, and as young people, IPPFAR continues to exemplify this. Through the MAs, the organization has provided us with safe spaces to discuss our issues and youth-friendly clinics where we comfortably seek sensitive services in a comfortable manner. We are also involved in making programme decisions and implementing them. As young people, we feel appreciated,” said Marian Pleasant Kargbo, YAM President in Sierra Leone.
The first-ever IPPFAR Youth and Regional forums presented a great opportunity for all participants to collectively discuss and learn about how to diversify their funding base while strengthening their networks and partnerships across all levels for the benefit of the people we serve.
- Mahmoud Garga, Lead Specialist - Strategic Communication, Media Relations and Digital Campaigning, IPPF Africa Regional Office (IPPFARO) – email: email@example.com -Phone +254 704 626 920
- Maryanne Wanyama, Communications Officer, IPPFARO, Nairobi (Kenya) - Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
ABOUT IPPF AFRICA REGION (IPPFAR)
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 (SRHR) 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 SRHR challenges through a network of Member Associations (MAs) in 39 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. Learn more about us on our website.
 The CYP is calculated by multiplying the quantity of each method distributed to clients by a conversion factor, to yield an estimate of the duration of contraceptive protection provided per unit of that method. The CYP for each method is then summed for all methods to obtain a total CYP figure. CYP conversion factors are based on how a method is used, failure rates, wastage, and how many units of the method are typically needed to provide one year of contraceptive protection for a couple. The calculation takes into account that some methods, like condoms and oral contraceptives, for example, maybe used incorrectly and then discarded, or that IUDs and implants may be removed before their life span is realized. The term "CYP" reflects distribution and is a way to estimate coverage and not actual use or impact. The CYP calculation provides an immediate indication of the volume of program activity.