This guidance was current as of early April 2020, but is subject to change as we gain more knowledge and experience in addressing COVID-19 and ensuring continuity of essential health services during this pandemic. Please check for updates and continue to share relevant experience.
Maintenance of essential preventive, promotive, and curative sexual and reproductive health services in fragile and humanitarian settings during the COVID-19 epidemic threat and outbreak period
Provide programmatic guidance for decision making on sexual and reproductive health, including maternal and newborn health services, in fragile and humanitarian settings in the face of threat or reality of COVID-19
Fragile and humanitarian settings
1. GENERAL GUIDANCE
Experience in past epidemics has shown that lack of access to essential health services and shut down of services unrelated to the epidemic response resulted in more deaths than those caused by the epidemic itself.
As the world tackles the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to ensure that essential health services and operations continue to address the sexual and reproductive health (SRH) needs and rights of people living in humanitarian and fragile settings.
Reductions or modification in routine services should only be considered to (1) ensure support to the epidemic response and COVID-19 case management and/or (2) to avert undue exposure to risk of contracting the virus in a health facility during an epidemic outbreak and/or when community transmission has been confirmed. A lead SRH agency should be identified to coordinate all actors and plan to reestablish comprehensive services as soon as possible.