Director General of International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), Dr. Alvaro Bermejo has applauded the Solomon Islands Planned Parenthood Association (SIPPA) for the implementation of its mobile outreach clinics.

As part of his visit to the country last week, Dr. Vermejo travelled to Tinagulu Clinic in North Guadalcanal where SIPPA carried out a mass screening program for cervical cancer and awareness on Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) to the community.

In an interview with SIBC, Dr. Bermejo said he is pleased with SIPPA for reaching vulnerable communities with its programs.

“I chose out of the 140 member countries of IPPF to come to the Solomon Islands because SIPPA has an amazing connection with the population that it serves.

Last year it served over 70,000 people and for a country the size of Solomon Islands, that is incredible. And here at Tinagulu I get to see how they do it through this outreach, very much reaching the more vulnerable population and doing fantastic work supporting the government clinics as well,” he said.

Dr. Alvaro Bermejo with officers from SIPPA and IPPF at one of the awareness sessions.

SIPPA is a full member of the IPPF, and it is the leading NGO in the country to provide Sexual & Reproductive Health & Family Planning information and services.

It’s outreach to Tinagulu Clinic is one of the many they have conducted as part of implementing preventative strategies to deal with the rising cases of cervical cancer on women and girls in the country.

“Cervical cancer has become a serious issue affecting our women and girls, so we have taken the initiative to mass screening for women and girls as part of our preventative strategies and this allows women to know in advance their status on cancer,” said the Executive Director of the SIPPA Mr. Ben Agoa.

Mr. Agoa explains that their mobile outreach clinics includes cervical cancer screening and awareness for both boys and girls.

“Our program is a package where we go out do free clinical services and at the same time, we do awareness.

We do not want to leave anyone behind, we always provide awareness to young people about sexual reproductive health, STI and teenage pregnancy,” he said.

A SIPPA officer conducting awareness on SRH for women and girls.

Women residing in and around Tinagulu were also grateful for the services provided by SIPPA as it was a first of its kind to be conducted in the community.

A member of Pitukoli Community Mrs. Delilah Hou says they are grateful for SIPPA for bringing the program to them.

“This was a new experience for us as we learnt a lot of new information about us women and the importance of getting tested. For us, going to town or to SIPPA is quite challenging as we have our gardens to attend to and we have children to take care of here in the village.

So, them coming here is a huge privilege for us and we are grateful. We hope other NGOs can also carry out similar programs for us in the rural areas,” she said.

Meanwhile, Dr. Vermejo has also assured that they will continue to support SIPPA with its programs.

” SIPPA is one of our star member associations and we will continue to support the. But we do want them to become, as it progresses more sustainable and to also get more support from the government.

We’ve met with he Prime Minister and discussed with him on how the government through its budget can provide more support to SIPPA and it help it grow with us.”


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