Like many other health care providers, women’s health nonprofit WINGS in Antigua, Guatemala, was not prepared for the coronavirus pandemic in March. They shuttered the clinic and substituted telemedicine for mobile van units, dropping their number of monthly average patients from 1,000 to just a few hundred.
The low-cost clinic reopened earlier this month with limited hours, after securing personal protective equipment and touchless thermometers. The demand for family planning services was clear: Their patient load surged past pre-pandemic levels, resulting in WINGS setting up a new office space to accommodate patients.
Analysis of new gaps in sexual and reproductive health care is still anecdotal, but accounts from direct service providers reveal a drop in these services, even when governments classify them as essential, according to Ashley Wolfington, the acting COVID-19 task team coordinator of the Inter-Agency Working Group on Reproductive Health in Crisis, or IAWG.