Continuum of care has recently been highlighted by the Partnership for Maternal and Neo-Natal and Child Health (PMNCH) and UNICEF as a core principle of programmes for reproductive, maternal, adolescent, newborn, and child health.
This modality of care is necessary throughout one’s lifecycle – adolescence, preconception, pregnancy, childbirth, the postnatal period, and childhood – regardless of location. Care can be given in households and communities, through outpatient and outreach services, and public health institutions. Continuum of care also accounts for the need to address the impact of long distances and travelling time from one point of service to another, financial constraints, poor communication and transport, weak referral links and low-quality care in health facilities.
ARROW and DFPA with partners in South Asia are building on these policy directives. Through the Women’s Health and Rights Advocacy Partnership South Asia (WHRAP-SA). Based on careful analysis and evidence from the ground, WHRAP- South Asia believes that this initiative is extremely important but needs to be contextualised to the capacities of existing health systems and must be grounded in a rights based approach. Therefore we are calling for a context specific rights based continuum of quality care for reproductive health to be implemented by governments in the sub-region.