The International Planned Parenthood Federation, Africa Region (IPPF), in partnership with Deutsche Gesellschaft Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), has introduced an online Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) tracking tool, to encourage advocacy groups to gather data on health polices and implementation status in Africa.
The web-based tracking tool will allow Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) who are within IPPF's network to provide information on their policy environment on a regular basis and assess whether policies were backed by implementation plans with budgets
At the launch in Accra, the Communication officer of Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG), Mr. Archibald Adams, explained that the online SRHR tracking tool was developed to enable stakeholders to review policies based on practical implementation and to support gap analysis as well as opportunities across Africa.
"Besides providing the basis for tracking SRHR polices, information on the policy frameworks and status of their implementation, it shall be made available online in a user-friendly including maps," he explained.
According to him, it was important for CSOs in Africa to gather information on assessment and implementation status of health treaties signed by various heads of state, hence, the tool was also to allow users to access SRHR policies of different African countries at a click of a button.
He said demanding accountability from governments was the key to ensuring that all the global and regional health treaties were implemented in order to give quality health care to citizens and women especially.
Mr. Adams maintained that the tracking tool would enable easy access to data on SRHR by providing information on policy implementation in different countries and provide a platform for CSOs to perform their assessment efficiently.
He said the online tracking tool was currently piloted in Uganda, Cameroon and Ghana.
The areas the tracking tool was focusing on include the policy framework and implementation status on HIV/AIDS, family planning, comprehensive abortion care, sexual gender-based violence, female genital mutilation, violence against women, teenage pregnancy, comprehensive sexuality education, child early and forced marriage.
Other policy frameworks are sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive health, gender equality and women and girls empowerment and population development.
The Country Director of IPAS Ghana, Dr Koma Jehu-Appiah, said although Ghana had signed and ratified lot of global and regional treaties and conventions, implementing them was still a challenge.
He indicated that many African countries still frown upon others people's sexual orientation as well as other health practices such as family planning, comprehensive abortion among others.
According to him, the launch of CSOs League in Ghana was the way forward in order to coordinate all stakeholders and advocacy groups in the country towards achieving accountability from governments on SRHR policy frameworks and implementation.