The Reproductive Family Health Association of Fiji (RFHAF) held a workshop today to support policy advocacy work towards integrating essential Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) services, such as Minimal Initial Service Package (MISP), into Fiji’s humanitarian responses. The workshop was facilitated by the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) Humanitarian Pacific Hub team in partnership with the UNFPA Pacific Sub Regional Office with funding support by Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).
Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) is an essential key to life-saving intervention in humanitarian setting. The provision of SRH services in crisis settings save lives, maintains human dignity, and reduces suffering. The MISP is a globally set of priority activity created and designed to prevent the excess of morbidity and mortality, particularly amongst women and girls, at the onset of humanitarian emergencies.
“It is very timely that we are holding this policy advocacy workshop today being the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction that promotes a global culture of disaster risk reduction,” said the RFHAF Executive Director, Matelita Seva-Cadravula. “As you know SRH and MISP are recognized in global frameworks and commitments including the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescent Health and Sustainable Development Goals. “The participation of key stakeholders and partners from our Government underscores its commitment and the importance it places on integrating SRH in humanitarian settings,” Mrs Seva-Cadravula said.
RFHAF implemented MISP following Tropical Cyclone Harold earlier this year in partnership with the IPPF Humanitarian Pacific Hub team travelling to Kadavu. During the response, the RFHAF response team visited 67 villages to deliver SRH clinical services and awareness sessions. The clinicians prioritised the delivery of SRH services as outlined under MISP. In response to community demand, a large number of non-SRH services were also delivered by the district nurses (when they were in attendance) with support from RFHAF. During the response 1,969people received SRH clinical services. Of these, 1,406 (71%) were women and girls, 585 (29%) men and boys. The RFHAF team also mobilised in the aftermath of TC Winston in 2016 in partnership with the Ministry of Health and other key partners delivering over 1,533 reproductive health services through 37 field missions in the severely affected communities in the Western division.
“For SRH to remain a priority in the Humanitarian settings, there is a need for an enabling environment where SRH is incorporated into the country’s disaster management plans and policies,” Mrs Seva-Cadravula said.
The Reproductive and Family Health Association of Fiji aims to reach the most poor, marginalized, socially excluded and under-served populations, and empower them to make informed choices about their sexual and reproductive health. RFHAF is committed to changing attitudes towards SRHR in Fiji. RFHAF advocates in the community and with the government for Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) for all, particularly in schools. RFHAF also works extensively with children and adults with disabilities, conducting SRHR training with young leaders with disabilities and children in special schools.
RFHAF has a static clinic based in the capital, Suva, which provides sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) services, including:
• Family planning
• STI and HIV services
• Prenatal care
• Gynecological services