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SHORT COMMUNICATION
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 47  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 197-198

Ensuring delivery of sexual and reproductive health and rights amidst the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic


1 Department of Community Medicine, Medical Education Unit, Institute Research Council, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Chengalpet, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Chengalpet, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Submission20-Jun-2020
Date of Acceptance18-Jul-2020
Date of Web Publication21-Jan-2021

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Tiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet - 603 108, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jss.JSS_58_20

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  Abstract 


The ongoing coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is a public health emergency of global concern and has very high potential for the transmission across the world. As the whole world is fighting the battle against this novel viral infection, a series of capacity building and strengthening measures has been implemented across different settings to break the chain of transmission and reduce incidence of case as well as attributed deaths. However, from the perspective of women, some of the lifesaving reproductive health services have been compromised and there is a definite possibility of a rise in the incidence of gender-based violence. In the global mission to attain universal health coverage, there is an indispensable need to not ignore these essential obstetric care services, otherwise we will lose all the gains achieved so far. In conclusion, the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to interfere with the routine delivery of essential and emergency obstetric care. Thus, it is the need of the hour to take appropriate measures and improve the preparedness level to ensure that even during these times we sustain the delivery of quality assured sexual and reproductive health services.

Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic, Essential obstetric care, Sexual and reproductive health, World Health Organization


How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Ensuring delivery of sexual and reproductive health and rights amidst the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. J Sci Soc 2020;47:197-8

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Ensuring delivery of sexual and reproductive health and rights amidst the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. J Sci Soc [serial online] 2020 [cited 2021 Mar 7];47:197-8. Available from: https://www.jscisociety.com/text.asp?2020/47/3/197/307603




  Introduction Top


The ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID 19) pandemic is a public health emergency of global concern and has very high potential for the transmission across the world. This is quite obvious considering the fact that the disease has been reported in 216 nations and territories since the start of the outbreak.[1] Overall, a total of 8,385,440 cases and 450,686 deaths have been reported, with the global case fatality rate being 5.37'.[1]

Public health response to COVID-19

As the whole world is fighting the battle against this novel viral infection, a series of capacity building and strengthening measures has been implemented across different settings to break the chain of transmission and reduce incidence of cases as well as attributed deaths.[2]

COVID-19 and Women

However, from the perspective of women, some of the lifesaving reproductive health services have been compromised and there is a definite possibility of a rise in the incidence of gender based violence.[3] These problems have resurfaced predominantly in the nations with weak public health care delivery system and those settings which are experiencing other humanitarian emergencies such as conflicts.[3] It is extremely important to understand the fact that regardless of the outbreaks of infectious diseases or conflicts, women across the world will continue to need basic services related to maintenance of menstrual hygiene, prevention/management of sexually transmitted infections, family planning services, and services for safe confinement in health care facilities.[3],[4]

Essential and emergency obstetric care

In the global mission to attain universal health coverage and reduce the unmet need for family planning, gender based violence, and preventable maternal deaths by 2030, there is an indispensable need to not ignore services related to sexual and reproductive health and rights; otherwise, we will lose all the gains achieved so far.[3],[4]However, to ensure that this does not happen in future, it is important that all the vulnerable nations are identified and assistance with the help of community workers and health professionals is offered to them for sustaining sexual and reproductive health care.[3],[5] This will be a challenging task as the COVID 19 outbreak has also been progressing at a rapid pace, but then, both these issues deserve utmost priority and the public health authorities cannot only prioritize efforts for the containment of the infection.[3],[4],[5]

Strengthening sexual and reproductive health

It is quite obvious that the strengthening of sexual and reproductive health care will require financial support and the money should be utilized.[3] The ideal thing will be to combine the prevention and control services related to COVID 19 with sexual and reproductive health related services in the prioritized nation.[3] This includes improving the national capacity to improve access to essential obstetrical services in nations significantly affected by the infectious disease and also bring about an improvement in the logistics (viz., personal protective equipment), which will aid the health workers to offer uninterrupted care and support to the suspected or confirmed cases of the disease.[2],[3],[4],[5]Further, efforts should be taken to establish risk communication mechanism and community engagement opportunities for improving awareness about the disease and reduce associated stigma if a woman develops the disease and also improve access to delivery services for women, including those who are quarantined.[2],[3],[4],[5]


  Conclusion Top


In conclusion, the COVID 19 pandemic is expected to interfere with the routine delivery of essential and emergency obstetric care. Thus, it is the need of the hour to take appropriate measures and improve the preparedness level to ensure that even during these times, we sustain the delivery of quality assured sexual and reproductive health services.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
World Health Organization. Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report – 151; 2020. Available from: https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200619-covid-19-sitrep-151.pdf?sfvrsn=8b23b56e_2. [Last accessed on 2020 Jun 20].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
World Health Organization. 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV): Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan. Geneva: WHO Press; 2020. p. 1-3.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
United Nations Population Fund. Safe Delivery-Even Now UNFPA Coronavirus Disease (COVID- 19) Global Response Appeal; 2020. Available from: https://www.unfpa.org/news/pandemic-rages-women-and-girls-face-intensified-risks. [Last accessed on 202?0 Apr 08].  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
World Health Organization. COVID-19: Operational Guidance for Maintaining Essential Health Services during an Outbreak-Interim Guidance. Geneva: WHO Press; 2020. p. 1-10.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Schwartz DA, Graham AL. Potential maternal and infant outcomes from (Wuhan) Coronavirus 2019-nCoV infecting pregnant women: Lessons from SARS, MERS, and other human coronavirus infections. Viruses 2020;12:194.  Back to cited text no. 5
    




 

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