Project name: Partnerships For Health and Rights: Working for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights for all in the Pacific
Outcome area: Enhancing agency
Project partner: International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF)
Total funding: $1,500,000*
Funding timeframe: 2015–2018
Walking uphill to the hospital in the tropical heat whilst heavily pregnant to access the ultrasound at the main hospital was not something that Cook Islander women looked forward to. However, IPPF has supported the CIFWA to provide women with better access to reproductive health services, including ultrasound, close to their communities.
‘Before, women had to walk or take a motorbike to get up to the hospital on the outskirts of town for ultrasounds. But motorbikes are dangerous for pregnant women on the winding roads. CIFWA’s clinic is in the middle of town, right on the bus route and is much easier and safer for women to access,’ said Ms Taraivosa Nakolinivalu, IPPF Quality Improvement and Country Desk Officer for the Cook Islands.
‘I feel comfortable coming to CIFWA clinic. It is welcoming and easy to access. I don’t have to wait for long. They provide good service and it is confidential,’ said a CIFWA client.
The range of services offered by the CIFWA also includes obstetrics, family planning, sexually transmitted infection and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevention as well as sexually transmitted infection treatment including voluntary confidentiality counselling. In 2015, CIFWA increased its number of service delivery points, including in hard to reach areas of the country such as Aitutaki.
CIFWA’s services remain relevant given the high rates of STIs in the Cook Islands, particularly among young people aged between 15 and 29 years old. In 2015, CIFWA delivered 7,840 sexual reproductive health services to 6,220 clients. Of these, 2,739 (44 percent) were young people. In addition, CIFWA improved its service delivery to people with disabilities in partnership with the Institution for People with Disability and Mental Illness. CIFWA renovated one of its service delivery points, named Te Kainga, and now provides targeted sexual reproductive health and non-communicable disease services to people living with physical and mental disabilities.