Tuesday, December 8, 2015
Our Chief Executive Jackie Edmond has just returned from a three-day trip to Kiribati, where she saw the work of our Healthy Families Project in action.
Ms Edmond said a particular highlight of the visit was attending a health promotion event at the Kiribati Teachers’ College, which combined sexuality education with a mobile clinic.
“To tackle sexual and reproductive health in Kiribati, we really need to engage young people, because more than half of the population is under 25. A focus on youth is critical and that’s why opportunities like these are so important,” says Ms Edmond.
The health promotion event included a workshop, stands with information about different family planning methods, and a mobile clinic offering a range of contraception and STI testing services. Drama and dance were also used to teach the future teachers of Kiribati about sexual and reproductive health.
The Healthy Families Project is run in partnership by Family Planning and the Kiribati Family Health Association (KFHA), and is funded by the New Zealand Aid Programme.
In an interview with the local Kiribati radio, Ms Edmond said KFHA’s model of work is really effective, and the mix of doing health promotion using music and dance to draw in a crowd, as well as offering a mobile clinic, is working really well.
Kiribati is a key focus of Family Planning’s international programmes unit.
Ms Edmond says Kiribati has some of the lowest rates of contraception use in the world.
“The unmet need for family planning in Kiribati is also among the highest in the world, with 28 per cent of i-Kiribati women of reproductive age wanting to stop or delay having children, but not using any sort of contraception.”
Ms Edmond says she was thrilled to have seen the project in action and how it is contributing to increased access to services and information for the people of Kiribati, and felt it was a privilege to be hosted by the Kiribati Family Health Association.
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