In the lead up to COP26, HCWH Southeast Asia and IPPF East & South East Asia and Oceania Region (IPPF ESEAOR) launch regional partnership to promote Gender-inclusive, Climate-resilient Health Agenda for Women and Girls | Kathmandu Tribune

Through joint project ideas, the regional partnership will provide communities/health facilities with information, skills, and resources on how to advance the climate, gender, sexual, and reproductive health agenda in South East Asia and the Pacific. As part of the tasks ahead, both organizations shall facilitate the exchange of knowledge, tools, and build capacity among respective constituencies.

Women and girls especially in climate-vulnerable communities in countries in South East Asia and the Pacific region will disproportionately experience climate-related disasters, not only because of the immediate health impacts but on top of that, they are already experiencing the challenges of an ill-equipped healthcare system.

HCWH SE Asia Executive Director Ramon San Pascual said, “70% of healthcare workers globally are women. In 2018, Southeast Asia had 3.5 million midwives and nurses. If you include doctors and bring it to the current period, easily we can estimate about 5 million healthcare workers in our region alone who, at the same time, have roles as family members. Balancing work and family responsibilities especially in the pandemic period will shed light right away on the gender inequalities experienced by our healthcare workers. To add to that, there is also the reality that healthcare systems in our region are not prepared for a climate-induced pandemic that exacerbates their working conditions. Does it impact their health and their communities? Testimonies after testimonies say it’s a loud yes.”

As a move forward, San Pascual added that “This partnership with IPPF ESEAOR will tackle the urgency of realizing a climate-resilient and pandemic-prepared healthcare for all. This can be in the form of  access to renewable energy for far-flung healthcare facilities that are off-grid, procurement of green simple to operate  medical equipment, and ensuring WASH facilities in health centers, just  to name a few.”

“The climate crisis can affect the realization of SRHR in a range of ways. Clean and safe water is critical for ensuring the provision of safe and quality SRH services, including during pregnancy and childbirth, and for the administration of certain contraceptive methods. Lack of adequate sanitation facilities and water points in safe locations also increases the risk of sexual and gender-based violence and affects the management of menstrual health.

As the threat of climate change continues to grow rather than diminish, we, IPPF ESEAOR, look forward to partnering with HCWH SE Asia to advance climate actions and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of women and girls in South East Asia and the Pacific.

This partnership will enable us to accelerate action to achieve the full realization of SRHR and gender equality and improve the resilience of our communities to changing climates. Inter-thematic cooperation has long been talked about, but rarely put into action. With this partnership, we envision cultivating cross-learning and communications and advancing joint advocacy projects and research opportunities.  Together we will serve to address the myriad of climate-related SRHR challenges faced by women and girls in our region,” stated Tomoko Fukuda, Regional Director of IPPF ESEAOR. ######

About HCWH SEA

Health Care Without Harm in Southeast Asia is part of a global nonprofit organization that seeks to transform health care worldwide, so the sector reduces its environmental footprint and becomes a leader in the global movement for environmental health and justice. HCWH SE Asia is working with hospitals, health ministries, and medical professionals in Indonesia, Viet Nam, the Philippines, Malaysia, S. Korea, and Taiwan.

About IPPF ESEAOR

The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is a global service provider and a leading advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all. We are a worldwide movement of national organizations working with and for communities and individuals.

IPPF ESEAOR is supporting 23 Member Associations and two (2) Collaborating Partners in a total of twenty-five countries.

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