Women’s Integrated Sexual Health Programme
An estimated 214 million women worldwide want to delay or prevent pregnancy but are not able to access or use contraception.
Unintended and early pregnancy is a key cause of high maternal death rates in Africa and many parts of Asia. Having access to contraception is also critical for women to be able to continue their education and take up employment opportunities.
The Women’s Integrated Sexual Health programme (WISH), funded by UK Aid, is expanding sexual and reproductive health care services in 26 countries across Africa and Asia and strengthening national stewardship for delivering these services into the future.
The programme focuses on:
- Strengthening individuals’ knowledge and choice, and building community support for sexual reproductive health rights
- Creating a stronger enabling environment for family planning and sexual and reproductive health and rights by improving government policies, domestic financing, accountability and quality improvement systems
- Improving access to and expanding choice of voluntary family planning and other sexual reproductive health services through evidence-based innovations and best practice.
Options leads the enabling environment component in 10 countries. We work directly with government and civil society actors to prioritise sexual, reproductive health and family planning by strengthening the capacity of civil societies to hold governments accountable to SRH/FP commitments, supporting development and implementation of favourable policies for SRH/FP, strengthening national stewardship of quality improvement for SRH/FP and improving domestic financing. We bring these groups together to:
- Create accountability systems and participatory decision-making spaces
- Develop strong quality improvement processes, develop, and
- Implement evidence-based policies that address the needs of women and girls, particularly among the poor, young people and people living with disabilities.
- Domestic funding for sexual reproductive health and family planning at national or sub-national level increased by several participating countries including Nigeria, Tanzania and Malawi.
- In Bangladesh, we developed a digital quality improvement system that captures real-time data on performance, quality issues and solutions and showcases them on a dashboard. The dashboard also includes indicators on infection prevention for COVID-19 and on accessibility issues for people living with disabilities.
- In Zambia, Options led the development of bottleneck analysis for last mile distribution of Family Planning commodities. This resulted in implementation of several action items for short-term and medium-term improvement of availability of the commodities at the point of services
- In Madagascar, we developed a policy tracking tool which will be used to monitor the fulfilment of the Malagasy state's commitments to SRH/FP over a three-year period. This tool includes 59 indicators on framework, legislative, policy and strategy documents to monitor and score their implementation
- In Tanzania, in July-August 2021, we trained 279 health facilities in the Dodoma region and 226 in Mara region on budgeting and planning to enhance their capacity to generate health sector budget evidence (especially for SRH/FP) to improve health outcomes interventions.