The Sudan Family Planning Association (SFPA) was established in 1965 by pioneers in obstetrics and gynaecology in response to increases in maternal, neonatal and infant mortality and morbidity. As the statistics show, Sudan is a country in great need of frontline sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services. Advocacy, and undertaking information, education and communication (IEC) programmes are critical.
The organization has a strong team of health personnel and professional staff that operate 389 service points. These diverse outlets and outreach services are designed to secure the greatest possible access, particularly for vulnerable groups. Outlets include 11 permanent clinics and 4 mobile units, and the organization works in conjunction with 62 associated operations, 60 private physicians, and over 90 other agencies. 158 community-based distributors/community-based services (CBDs/CBSs) provide the essential platform of on-the-ground support which enables SFPA to meet an estimated 64% of the country’s current demand for contraceptive pills.
A major priority for SFPA is improving the status of women and enhancing their understanding of their rights. The organization allies SRH closely with development initiatives for women. Economic independence, or the capacity to make a significant contribution to a family’s income, empowers women, and with economic empowerment comes the potential for greater control over reproductive health and family planning.
In Sudan (particularly in rural areas) harmful practices such as female genital mutilation are widespread. SFPA is vigorous in combating FGM.
SFPA has played a key role in the design, testing and implementation of the HIV and AIDS Stigma Index, and has undertaken critical work in HIV prevention initiatives amongst at-risk groups. It’s a founder member of the Sudan AIDS Network (SAN). It’s highly active as a technical adviser to the government on population policy, and it advocates strenuously for financial and political support for sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).