HP+ hosted a thought-provoking webinar discussion on June 30, 2022, on the development and application of the Legal and Policy Framework to Accountability approach in different country contexts. The speakers, including Dr. Charles Mwinuna, Provincial Health Director, Zambia and representatives from Samasha Medical Foundation, the Centre for Reproductive Health and Education in Zambia, and Women and Development in Law in Africa, joined Katie Peel from HP+ to discuss the current contextual constraints, the application of the approach, and preliminary ”wins” in the accountability space for family planning. The legal and policy accountability approach looks beyond family planning, providing a framework to engage a broad range of stakeholders, tackle challenges, and drive action forward. Dr. Charles Mwinuna of the Ministry of Health expressed his gratitude for the activity implementation and noted the strengthened capacity of Neighborhood Health Committee and Family Planning Technical Working Group members in the planning and budgeting process. Moses Muwonge and Charity Nagemi from the Samasha Medical Foundation shared how the integration of the approach with the Motion Tracker enhances collaboration with partners and helps address barriers to the achievement of FP2030 commitments by considering policy or legal challenges, developing strategies to address challenges, identifying opportunities for partnership, and informing accountability efforts.
In a new HP+ blog entry published December 16, Steven Forsythe and Suneeta Sharma discuss the direct and indirect economic impacts of COVID-19 on African economies, including food insecurity, poverty, education, and health. The co-authors provide recommendations to prepare multisectoral responses for a future pandemic. “Health programs cannot focus solely on COVID-19 and must instead also focus on other health concerns that have been affected by COVID-19, including access to family planning and reproductive health services; maternal and child health services; and malaria, tuberculosis and HIV prevention and treatment,” they state. “Thus, health systems strengthening must be a priority not only as a health measure, but also to reduce the economic implications of COVID-19.”
A collection of peer-reviewed articles on male circumcision modeling and costing were published in Plos One and released during the International AIDS Conference. Most of the articles are based on work completed under the Health Policy Project and use data generated with an HPP-developed model called DMPPT.2. At the conference, USAID’s Emmanuel Njeuhmeli presented estimates that medical male circumcision performed between 2005 and 2015 in South Africa will save more than $790 million in treatment costs by 2030; and that male circumcisions in South Africa will avert 218,000 HIV infections by 2030. Referencing the research, Ministers of Health from South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland called on policymakers to maintain high levels of male circumcision coverage and for endemic countries to commit domestic funding in an Op Ed published July 21st on Bhekisisa the health site of South Africa’s Mail & Guardian newspaper.