Women lead NGO’s contribution to Family Planning in Maldives

Society for Health Education (SHE) was founded in 1988 by four women with the mission to enhance the quality of life of Maldivian families. SHE has become one of the largest NGO in the country addressing public health issues like Thalassaemia, providing counselling and psychosocial support, Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) and Health Education.

SHE’s Well Women Clinic and Family Planning Center, run by a team of four women, provides client friendly and quality services on SRH and other various health issues. Their services include, provision of family planning methods and counselling, gynecological consultations with an inhouse gynecologist, face-to-face and telephone counselling on SRHR related issues, pre & post marital counselling, prenatal and postpartum care, engaging men in SRH and voluntary counselling & testing (VCT).

SHE has worked together with the Women Development Committee (WDC) in Maldives to empower and educate women in the islands on nutrition, mental and physical well being, family planning methods and gender-based violence.

blog images Women in Maldives have greater access to contraceptives and family planning methods as compared to many other conservative countries. Along with the government hospitals of Maldives, SHE also provides free contraceptives to all genders. During COVID-19, SHE took the lead to collaborate with Maldivian Red Crescent to implement delivery services of contraceptives and menstrual hygiene products to the people in need around the greater Male’ region of Maldives. Tele- counseling on SRHR related issues throughout Maldives was also provided. 

 

With the support of UNFPA, SHE also took the lead of preparing dignity kits to the vulnerable population during the difficult time. These dignity kits consisted of basic items to take care of your personal hygiene. While doing this, SHE focussed on providing information through leaflets on the importance of taking care of your mental and physical wellbeing, teenage pregnancy, gender-based violence as well as information on contraceptives such as EC pill, and other essential information. 

SHE’s women lead Counseling and Psychosocial services also took the stand to support their clients during the time of pandemic. They continued to provide their sessions through telephone counseling from which many sessions were provided to people who were facing difficulties due to pandemic. SHE was also a part of the National Mental Health Network along with other mental health support service providers in the Maldives coordinating mental health support provision throughout the Maldives during the pandemic. The team took the time to train and supervise MRC’s rapid response team on psychosocial services. Furthermore, SHE’s staff from Laboratory and Diagnostic services were a part of PCR testing at the government hospital of Maldives.

SHE initiated exploring new ways of reaching their target audiences to support them through their social media channels. With the aim to keep them informed on coping mechanisms during the pandemic, Facebook live sessions were organized to discuss mental health, maternal health and childhood development issues.