Challenges and resilience in the face of COVID-19
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, MSI is committed to being there for the women and girls we serve in 37 countries around the world. We wanted to share some updates on how we’re responding to COVID-19—and how supporters like you are making a difference.
MSI in the news
- Lucy Shoniwa, an MSI nurse in Zimbabwe, shared her experience serving clients through COVID-19 with the Washington Post. If Zimbabwean women continue to face obstacles seeking care, “we are going to be in very big trouble and have very big problems,” she warned. Because of the pandemic, she’s seeing far fewer clients at her outreach sites, and worries that there will be more unintended pregnancies and unsafe abortions as a result.
- Lockdowns have disrupted access to critical supplies like contraception, while forcing our outreach teams to suspend services. Carole Sekimpi, Country Director for Marie Stopes Uganda, recently spoke to the Associated Press on the severe impact COVID-19 is having on women trying to access sexual and reproductive healthcare throughout the country.
- MSI is working to ensure that women around the world can access critical reproductive health services during this pandemic. Simon Cooke, MSI’s CEO, recently spoke to The Guardian urging the World Health Organization (WHO) to define sexual and reproductive healthcare, including contraception and safe abortion, as essential services.
- Unfortunately, Donald Trump’s recent decision to defund the WHO places women’s health at risk. Abebe Shibru, Country Director for Marie Stopes Zimbabwe, recently spoke to the HuffPost about the impact of American foreign policy, including the Global Gag Rule, on access to sexual and reproductive health services across Zimbabwe.
- We recently partnered with Amnesty International to show just how important reproductive health is. We’re raising awareness about this critical issue and building support for lifesaving contraception and safe abortion care.
Signs of hope during COVID-19
In the face of significant challenges, we’ve seen signs of hope. We were buoyed by support from donors around the world who stepped up to protect choice on Giving Tuesday Now.
At the same time, governments around the world, including the United Kingdom, Madagascar and Denmark, issued a statement acknowledging the critical importance of sexual and reproductive health rights during the COVID-19 pandemic.