Scaling-Up Youth-Friendly Comprehensive Abortion Care Services in Eastern Cape, South Africa
With funds from the Safe Abortion Action Fund, Pathfinder built on existing efforts to expand and create sustainable safe abortion services in Ghana, Mozambique, and South Africa. The project made a significant impact to reduce maternal morbidity and mortality due to unsafe abortion.
Working with the Eastern Cape Department of Health (ECDOH), Pathfinder built national capacity to improve access to and quality of youth-friendly comprehensive abortion care. There are significant social and structural barriers to accessing safe abortion services in South Africa, including stigma associated with abortion, misunderstanding of the legal status of abortion, few service providers, and limited supplies. Pathfinder's comprehensive approach to youth-friendly services (YFS) addressed factors that prevent young people from seeking sexual and reproductive health services and improves the quality of those services.
Currently, abortion services are being provided in three sites (Empilweni, Nontyatyambo, and Elliotdale) with expansion to a fourth site planned. As a result of one-on-one counseling, there has been 100 percent acceptance of a family planning method by clients after abortion.
Expanding and Sustaining Safe Abortion Services in Ghana, Mozambique and South Africa through the Safe Abortion Action Fund
Pathfinder built upon existing efforts to expand and create sustainable safe abortion services in Ghana, Mozambique, and South Africa. The overarching goal of this project was to reduce maternal morbidity and mortality due to unsafe abortion.
In South Africa, Pathfinder promotes the adoption of safe sex practices while increasing access to quality, integrated, and youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health services.
“Globally, this marginalized population of young women has unique needs and rights that need to be addressed and acknowledged,” said Callie Simon, a technical advisor for adolescent sexual and reproductive health with Pathfinder International. “Married adolescent girls have so little power and decision-making over their bodies, over their choices, [and] over their lives."
Pathfinder joins the world in mourning the loss of a visionary, leader, ally, and friend—Nelson Mandela. Mandela, who passed away on December 5, 2013, was formerly the President of South Africa, a Nobel Peace Laureate, and a champion of human rights.