Different approaches are used for integration of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services at the primary health care (PHC) level, aiming at providing comprehensive services leaving no one behind. The United Nations Population Fund - Arab States Regional Office (UNFPA/ASRO), in partnership with Middle East and North Africa Health Policy Forum (HPF), launched an assessment of integration of SRH into PHC in 11 Arab countries in 2017-2018. This project brought together researchers from the Faculty of Health Sciences at the American University of Beirut, Imperial College London, UNFPA, and Middle East and North Africa HPF to assess gaps in the delivery of SRH in PHC services, identify challenges and propose action towards universal health coverage in Arab countries.
The study finds that family planning is part of PHC in all countries except Libya, where only counselling is provided. Onlyy Morocco, Tunisia and Oman provide comprehensive HIV services at PHC level. Jordan, Libya and Saudi Arabia rely mainly on referral to other facilities, while most of the integrated family planning or HIV services in Sudan, Morocco and Oman are provided within the same facilities.
The researchers highlighted the need for action at the policy, organizational and operational levels. Prioritization of services can guide the development of essential packages of SRH care.