Outreach serves women

Health Watch

MORE than 40,000 women in Morobe benefited from Marie Stopes PNG (MSPNG) family planning outreaches last year, supporting women, girls, and men to make informed decisions about reproductive health.
The outreaches provide contraceptive education, information and services for women and girls, for significant health, societal and economic benefits.
One beneficiary was 26-year-old Sarah Greg who attended a temporary MSPNG clinic set up near Wampar health centre in Huon.
Despite being new to family planning, Sarah was no stranger to the hardship of having too many children.
“I come from a large family,” she said.
“Watching my mother struggle to care for my siblings and I made me realise I do not want the same.”
Outreach patrols were a collaboration between the National Department of Health and MSPNG supported by the Papua New Guinea–Australia partnership to provide access to clinical services in hard to reach and rural areas.
The outreach teams comprised of experienced clinical and health promotion staff, including people from local communities.
Like most women in the rural village, Sarah’s days revolved around house chores, gardening and travelling to Wampar to sell her fresh produce.
Sarah first learnt about Marie Stopes’ family planning services from a community-based mobiliser named Martha who was conducting door-to-door awareness on family planning in her village.
“I met Martha along the way to the garden and we discussed the different family planning methods,” she said.
“She told me there would be a Marie Stopes clinic offering free family planning services.
“My village is within a walking distance, so I am fortunate.
“Other women had to travel for hours to get to the market to sell their produce or get medical help.”
Providing women with access to contraception means they can make informed decisions about their future and help their families.