CAIRO, December 11, 2012 – A recent report on reproductive health in Egypt highlights key family planning-related issues including access, affordability, quality, equity, and disparities. The findings were discussed at a high-level national stakeholder workshop under the auspices of Egypt’s Minister of Health and Population.
The report explores whether client demand for services and the acceptability of these services is influenced by issues such as privacy, confidentiality, and autonomy. It highlights how strengthening mechanisms for clients and incentives for staff to be responsive will foster better delivery of family planning. A client complaints and grievance process could provide redress for clients and link to professional disciplinary procedures as well as improve quality of service delivery.
The research was carried out under a World Bank-managed Nordic Trust Fund at the request of the Egyptian Ministry of Health and the National Population Council to raise the profile of family planning and other reproductive health services from a human rights perspective post revolution. Government and civil society representatives, academics and members of the donor community participated in the discussion.
“We are pleased that this research advances the understanding on issues pertaining to reproductive health from a human rights perspective and gives us concrete findings about the new approach needed to continue improving family planning programs and other reproductive health services,” said Dr. Mohamed Mustafa Hamid, Egypt’s Minister of Health and Population.
Egypt developed an effective government-led family planning program over the past 50 years. This has contributed to Egypt’s progress in reducing infant and maternal mortality.
The report addresses the challenges facing the family planning program in Egypt through a human rights lens. It explores whether individuals and couples are able to access good quality family planning and other reproductive health services, while being aware of their rights, having these rights respected, and whether they have the ability to make informed choices.
“I am pleased that this report addresses social justice and equality of opportunity through analyzing family planning and other reproductive health services especially those affecting the poor, the young and those in remote rural areas,” said Hartwig Schafer, the World Bank’s Country Director for Egypt, Yemen and Djibouti.
The report team completed an analysis of legal and ethical codes and institutions for upholding reproductive rights in Egypt, a literature review of past studies and surveys in Egypt, and a field study in four governorates using quantitative and qualitative methods to assess the accessibility and quality of family planning and other reproductive health services in family health units.
“The report underlined the role of community voices and how quality and performance could be strengthened through activation of community health boards with participation of women and youth, complemented by development of community report cards on family planning and other primary care services,” said Tamer Rabie, Senior Health Specialist at the World Bank and Task Team Leader of the report.