Protecting Global Gains: Local advocacy and knowledge helps safeguard gains in SRH in Bangladesh

January 11, 2021

The Protecting Global Gains series kicks off 2021 with a story about the motivated and resourceful advocates in Bangladesh who not only safeguarded essential family planning services against the disruptions of COVID-19 but also maximized the impacts of domestic investment. Read on for the latest edition of Protecting Global Gains: Bangladeshi activists help sustain access to family planning services.

In April 2020, the Guttmacher Institute released dire estimates on how COVID-19 is affecting sexual and reproductive health services. Estimates showed that the compounding ramifications of national lockdowns, economic losses, disrupted supply chains, and repurposed health personnel could lead to as many as 15 million annual unintended pregnancies in low- and middle-income countries. Sexual and reproductive health services in Bangladesh experienced some of these challenges—especially as personal protective equipment (PPE) was allocated to staff providing essential health services only.

Advocacy groups and local governments in Bangladesh took action in response to this sexual and reproductive health emergency. Learn about how two Bangladeshi NGOs, Marie Stopes Bangladesh and Shushilan, through the Advance Family Planning initiative, worked with local government to stave off feared setbacks in reproductive and sexual health in the latest story on, Bangladeshi activists help sustain access to family planning services.

Whether it’s resuming polio vaccinations in remote areas of Pakistan, introducing smarter ways to distribute bed nets in Benin, or safeguarding reproductive health in Bangladesh, community ownership and local innovation have been key to building flexible and resilient health systems and staving off the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Follow the Protecting Global Gains series on social media at @hivpxresearch, @theglobalfight, @Amref_Worldwide and #ProtectingGlobalGains, and consider amplifying these stories on your own social media. Advocates can pressure governments to honor their commitments to family planning services and for continued national and global investment in efforts to minimize the toll of COVID-19 on sexual and reproductive health. Visit to learn more about how to take action.