Report on the FCDO’s approach to sexual and reproductive health

25 January 2024
International Development Committee

The UK Parliament International Development Committee has called for the integration of Female Genital Schistosomiasis FGS into Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) programming, and has made this recommendation to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

Recommendations summarised in the IDC press release:

The Committee says that going forward the FCDO must:

• Ensure all SRHR programmes are accessible to all, under the principle of Leave No One Behind,including for programmes working on HIV and AIDS; and include marginalised and hard-to-reach people in the planning, development and delivery of SRHR aid programming.

• Ensure that these programmes reach people with disabilities by having a dedicated budget, baselines, targets and key performance indicators.

• Commit to defined spending levels on the development of health personnel in low-and-middle-income countries, as well as prioritising the development of health infrastructure, with a focus on water, sanitation and hygiene facilities (WASH).

• Integrate programming and care for female genital schistosomiasis – a little known but painful and debilitating disease affecting up to 56 million women and girls – into broader SRHR programming.

• Provide age-appropriate sex education on topics like menstruation, female genital schistosomiasis and WASH to empower local populations, increase the value of aid spending and improve outcomes."

The FGS Integration Group (FIG) shared evidence of why FGS should be part of holistic and person-centered sexual and reproductive health and rights programming.

From the report:
"Female genital schistosomiasis is a painful and debilitating but treatable condition affecting up to 56 million women. FGS is best tackled through an integrated approach with wider SRHR programming, as well as with other areas of programming such as education, WASH and HIV and AIDS. The UK should integrate female genital schistosomiasis (FGS) care into its SRHR programming.

This should include (a) improving access to adequate water, sanitation and hygiene facilities, (b) increasing girls’ enrolment in education and supporting distribution of FGS medicine in schools, (c) distributing educational materials on WASH, and (d) considering integrating FGS and HIV and AIDS programming, including by discussing the integration of HIV and AIDS programming with FGS care with its multilateral partners, such as the Global Fund."

Read the report here

IDC press release here

FIG Female Genital Schistosomiasis