Privacy and quality services for survivors of violence

Project Name: Healthy Family Clinic
Project Partner: Ministry of Health and Medical Services
Total Funding: $150,000
Funding timeframe: 2014-2016

The Ending Sexual and Gender Based Violence (ESGBV) Policy and 10-year National Action Plan outline the Kiribati Government’s approach to ending violence against women. The ESGBV Taskforce has been established to bring service providers and stakeholders together to coordinate programs and activities. By working together, stakeholders are upscaling violence prevention and service delivery programs and activities to ensure that policy objectives and outcomes are achieved.

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services is part of the ESGBV Taskforce. With support from Pacific Women, the Ministry has established the Healthy Family Clinic to increase access to quality support services for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence and to integrate reproductive health services within one facility. This responds to outcomes of the ESGBV Policy and National Action Plan and also Kiribati’s National Health Strategic Plan.

The Hon Tauanei Marea (left), Kiribati’s Minister for Health and Medical Services, and Senator the Hon Concetta Fierravanti-Wells MP (right), Australia’s Minister for International Development and the Pacific, opening the Healthy Family Clinic in July 2016. Photo Credit: DFAT.

The clinic was completed in December 2016 and officially opened by the Australian Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells. It is staffed by a gynaecologist, a nurse, and a social welfare officer / counsellor.

Between January and June 2017, the clinic provided services to 127 survivors of violence. The clinic’s nurse, Ms Tatiri Biira and counsellor, Ms Christina Reiher note:

‘The Healthy Family Clinic provides a private and effective environment to carry out the work needed to traumatised victims. Victims and accompanying families do not have to suffer curious glances from others and feel at ease within the closure of the facility… We have found that most of the cases of violence occur during the night and with approval from the Director of Public Health, Ms Eretii Timeon, our working hours have now been adjusted to include night shifts.’

The staff are continuing to use the experiences from the first period of operation to develop ways to improve the clinic’s services.

‘The victims, once they have undergone examination, treatment, and counselling, are gone and we never seem to hear from them again,’ says Ms Reiher.

‘We would like to see if there has been a good or negative outcome from the counselling we have provided to them.’

The Clinic is therefore looking at expanding services to include home monitoring visits. These visits could also be used to provide information on the impact of domestic violence on health, including reproductive health.

*This Story of Change was originally published in the Pacific Women Annual Progress Report 2016 – 2017. All values are consistent with that reporting period. For the most up-to-date value of activities, visit our interactive map.