Review of the inclusion of SRHR interventions in essential packages of health services in low and lower-middle income countries.
Hepburn, Jasmine Sprague.
Mohamed, Idil Shekh.
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Sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and universal health coverage (UHC) are fundamental to health as a human right. One way that countries operationalise UHC is through the development of an essential package of health services (EPHS), which describes a list of clinical and public health services that a government aspires to provide for their population. This study reviews the contents of 46 countries’ EPHS against the standard of the Guttmacher-Lancet Report’s (GLR) nine essential SRHR interventions. The analysis is conducted in two steps; EPHS are first categorised according to the level of specificity of their contents using a case classification scheme, then the most detailed EPHS are mapped onto the GLR’s nine essential SRHR interventions. The results highlight the variations of EPHS and provide information on the inclusion of the GLR nine essential SRHR interventions in low- and lower-middle income countries’ EPHS. This study also proposes a case classification scheme as an analytical tool to conceptualise how EPHS fall along a spectrum of specificity and defines a set of keywords for evaluating the contents of policies against the standard of the GLR. These analytical tools and findings can be relevant for policymakers, researchers, and organisations involved in SRHR advocacy to better understand the variations in detail among countries’ EPHS and compare governments’ commitment to SRHR as a human right.