Project: Partnerships For Health and Rights: Working for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights for all in the Pacific
Outcome area: Enhancing agency
Project partners: International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF)
Total funding: $1,500,000*
Funding timeframe: 2015–2018
The Samoa Family Health Association (SFHA) is Samoa’s leading provider of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) services. With support from IPPF, SFHA provided services to more than 10 percent of Samoa’s population in 2015.
SFHA’s mobile unit ensures that services are available not only at its clinic in the capital Apia, but also in the outer islands. The mobile unit visits rural areas three times each week to provide educational and contraceptive services to communities. In 2015, the association delivered 63,818 SRHR services to 14,342 clients, including 5,628 (39 percent) young people. Sixty-three percent (9,103) of SFHA’s clients are poor and marginalised members of the community, including those living below the poverty line.
For the first time, SFHA signed a Memorandum of Understanding with a private company in 2015. Yazaki Eds Samoa Limited is an automotive supplier plant located in the capital, Apia. The vast majority of workers at the factory are women, most of whom are of reproductive age (15–49). Under the Memorandum of Understanding, SFHA carries out fortnightly visits to the Yazaki factory to provide free health services to workers, in addition to comprehensive SRHR information and education.
SFHA uses the information it collects whilst providing SRHR services to advocate for improvements in legislation on SRHR issues. During the year, SFHA was active in lobbying for the inclusion of SRHR issues in legislation and policies being developed by Samoa’s Ministry of Health, Ministry of Women and Social Development and Ministry of Finance.
The association also contributed positively to the country’s Health Reports, Health Plans, Health Surveys and Human Rights Reports. In July 2016, the Executive Director of SFHA was the NGO representative in the Samoan Government delegation to the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in New York. Of the 22 countries participating in the National Voluntary Review at the Forum, Samoa was the only Pacific Island Country. Due to SFHA’s involvement in the review process, the Samoan National Voluntary Review specified SRHR as a key priority under the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in Samoa.