Association to push sexual health awareness

The Samoa Family Health Association (SFHA) will push on with its awareness on sexual reproductive and health rights, despite rejection strong opposition.

The organisation’s spokesperson, Leiloa Asaasa, said the number one challenge facing Samoa is the increasing number of sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancies, despite the circulation of more safe sex knowledge, and increasing number of women having access to family planning.

“What we’re looking into is that we won’t be ending our work but will still be pushing for awareness.

“Our plan for next year is to increase the number of community outreach program and work with government to include SRHR in their policy and guidelines because it’s a must to teach these things,” she said in an interview with Samoa Observer. 

The acceptance or rejection of the awareness programs can occur within the village communities, Leiloa added, but it will not stop them from going ahead with their awareness. 

“Although communities criticise our work most of the time, but we are here to work for them, to help them and that’s our job, because we’ve now seen that some villages understand what we are trying to educate them on.

“From there we’ve built and strengthened us not to stop — because if one village could understand the message — then hopefully by the next two years, the other villages will also understand it’s a process,” she added. 

Leiloa also made reference to their main project, which includes their partnership with Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) Bilateral Programme, in terms of expanding delivery point or clinics, awareness programs and volunteers.

“From one clinic, we now have three with Savaii clinic launched in April and Motootua office launched in August this year and with this our awareness programs have expanded.

“Together with our outreach programs, we also share with our clients that come into our office as well as our mobile clinic that goes into rural areas,” she added. 

The mobile clinic has increased the number of villages and people reached, she said. The main objective the mobile clinic program is to reach the families who are unable to access their facilities due to transportation difficulties and finances.

Sexual reproductive health rights awareness programs are not just about sex, Leiloa added, but is a broader subject matter that will be beneficial for both boys and girls — in terms of knowing their sexuality.

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