Originally posted by Inter Press Service

UNITED NATIONS, Feb 4 2021 (IPS) – With the COVID-19 pandemic negatively affecting access to Adolescent and Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health (AYSRH) services, it’s imperative governments employ community-based initiatives and peer educators to ensure these services are still available to them.

This is according to Dr. Simon Binezero Mambo, co-founder and team leader of the Youth Alliance for Reproductive Health in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Mambo was speaking to IPS following a two-day forum “Not Without FP”, which was organised by the International Conference on Family Planning and was attended by more than 7,000 people.

The virtual forum was organised to discuss the role of family planning in shaping universal health coverage schemes and explore how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted this discourse around the world.

The forum included a number of high-level speakers: Dr. Natalia Kanem, the United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Population Fund (UNFPA); Anutin Charnvirakul, Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Health; Beth Schlachter, Executive Director of Family Planning 2020; and Dr. Laura Lindberg, Principal Research Scientist from the Guttmacher Institute.