Increasing access to comprehensive reproductive health services for poor, vulnerable and marginalised people
Increasing access for marginalised and vulnerable groups
The right to sexual and reproductive health is a fundamental element of the right to health. The right to health includes access to acceptable and affordable health care and services of appropriate quality (WHO 2013). Marginalised and vulnerable groups – whether excluded because of inequality, poverty, gender, discrimination, displacement or proximity – have least access to the information, care and services needed to promote and protect their sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).
Access to SRHR services is determined by many factors, such as place of residence (urban or rural), marital status, age, gender, ethnicity, disability, economic status, cultural norms, education or social status. National policies, resource allocation and organisation of services play an important role in either enabling or limiting provision and availability of services among marginalised groups. The decentralisation of health services can offer an opportunity for advocates and service providers to increase access, but only if local policy and budget allocations make SRHR the priority it should be.