Reproductive Rights

Amid COVID-19 situation, Ipas Development Foundation’s operations now also focus on mitigating the impact of the pandemic and building resilience in the public health system and communities.

Published on December 20, 2020 at 4:17 am

Updated on March 20, 2021 at 06:48 am

A session for nursing staff on the use of protective gear being facilitated by IDF.
Amid COVID-19 situation, Ipas Development Foundation’s operations now also focus on mitigating the impact of the pandemic and building resilience in the public health system and communities.
In the backdrop of COVID-19, IDF’s operations now include a sharp focus on mitigating the impact of the pandemic and building resilience—in the public health system and in communities. As the pandemic tightened its grip across India, IDF instituted an internal emergency response team to ensure swift action. The Foundation undertook a holistic approach that involved research, advocacy, training and community outreach; and leveraged our strong relationships with the national and state governments and our on-ground workforce for implementation. Few examples include virtual training sessions for over 1,300 health care providers posted across 11 states; virtual dissemination of relevant government guidelines to over 1,00,000 doctors, nursing staff and ASHAs; and tele-outreach with information and counselling for the community. IDF conducted a research study that highlights women’s unfulfilled needs for reproductive health services. In response to requests from public health facilities, the Foundation is supplying protective gear for over 6,000 healthcare personnel across 7 states.

Donating protective gear in designated COVID-19 facilities in Uttar Pradesh.
Post-COVID-19 Strategy
Talking about the post-COVID-19 strategy, Vinoj Manning, Chief Executive Officer, Ipas Development Foundation (IDF), said, “The pandemic has severely impeded gains made in the domain of reproductive health in the country. With COVID-19 becoming a priority for health systems across the country, reproductive health services have taken a backseat. Post COVID-19, we foresee the need for major mends, contextualised for states and clients. We are working in collaboration with the national government to consolidate good practices and to develop a roadmap for addressing increased and changed reproductive health needs of women especially the young. IDF is committed to keeping reproductive health on the national and state agendas and to strengthening partnerships to meaningfully improve the lives of women and girls across the country.”

IDF youth leader in Jharkhand practising hand hygiene with a male member.
Case Study: Supporting frontline healthcare workers
While going to work today I (Satish Kumar Yadav, District Program Manager, Lucknow, National Health Mission) started thinking about Pramila, a healthcare support staff at a district hospital in Uttar Pradesh, I have interacted with her many times and her passion and commitment over her two-decade-long service at the hospital is inspirational. As administrators, we are making all efforts to protect our healthcare personnel and support staff in this time of crisis, the government is doing its job by imposing complete and partial lockdowns as required. However, I was touched when Pramila recently expressed her apprehensions about the evolving crisis and inadequate protective measures for the healthcare support staff. Her concerns were pertinent. Doctors and nurses become the natural priority especially during such emergencies even though healthcare support staff working with COVID-19 patients is equally at risk.
These thoughts of mine led me to think about one of my meetings with the State Director- IDF who mentioned about the donation of protective gear for healthcare personnel in COVID-19 designated facilities. We talked about how in these times, it is imperative to not only demonstrate a unified front to tide over the crisis but also assuage uncertainties and anxieties of all staff by communicating that their contribution is valued and this fight cannot be won without them.
I am thankful to IDF and Standard Chartered Bank for extending support to ensure comprehensive protection to hospitals in the two most-impacted districts of the state- Lucknow and Agra. So far healthcare personnel and support staff working in 17 COVID-19 designated facilities have been covered through this special intervention. I am hopeful that such support from our development partners will also enable Pramila and others like her to feel secure while serving communities.
Ipas Development Foundation (IDF) is dedicated to improving the sexual and reproductive health of women and girls with a primary focus on preventing and managing unwanted pregnancies. IDF implements programmes across 11 states in partnership with national and state governments to address core and evolving needs within the reproductive health domain.



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