The Barbados Family Planning Association (BFPA) has hailed its provision of HIV treatment to clients as one of its major achievements for 2016.
This was one of the highlights of the association’s report to the nation, presented by acting Executive Director Anderson Langdon at its awards ceremony at the Radisson Aquatica Resort last night.
“We want to serve those people who are most vulnerable and most in need of sexual reproductive health services.
“In doing that we prepared ourselves with the medical directorate which we now have, we’ve prepared ourselves with the partnerships which we’ve built, and certainly with the support, we have received in terms of our community efforts with HIV, from the National HIV AIDS Commission,” Langdon said.
He noted that the provision of antiretrovirals was made possible through a US $750,000 grant from the USAID through the Washington-based organisation, Family Health International (FHI 360).
The BFPA’s Juliette Bynoe-Sutherland added that the financial and technical assistance received resulted in the BFPA becoming the first civil society organisation to provide such health care service to its clients.
She noted that the association’s provision of antiretroviral treatment also seeks to address the issue of stigma and discrimination against HIV positive individuals.
“Much of the challenge of HIV is associated with the fear and stigma, and sometimes shame associated with an HIV diagnosis. At Barbados Family Planning you’re able to comfortably stay in our association and receive treatment as a result of the LINKAGES project and the funding and technical support we received from the US government,” Bynoe-Sutherland said.
LINKAGES is a project funded by the USAID under the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) programme, which supports activities to reduce HIV transmission among key populations.
Bynoe-Sutherland noted that the LINKAGES project has been integral in setting the BFPA on a sustainable footing with its HIV programme, and has created a community referral system between the association and other important organisations who serve key populations.
“Ladymeade Reference Unit, who guides clinical service delivery with the Barbados Family Planning in a shared care approach, now allows us to provide antiretroviral treatment to clients at the association without them having to step outside of the organisation,” she said.
The BFPA’s Schools outreach programme was another significant achievement in 2016, Langdon reported, with the BFPA hosting programmes in all 22 secondary schools and between 15 to 20 primary schools.
Langdon said it would not have been possible without the support of the Ministry of Education, the National HIV/AIDS Commission and the Office of the Attorney General.
“What makes this programme special especially this year, is that young people have led. Our peer educators of our Youth Advocacy Movement have been, more than any other year, part of the delivery of the support to the Human Family Life Education support programme currently going on in our schools,” he said.
He reported that the BFPA provided a total of 65,089 services to clients last year, up from 64,146 the previous year. These included sexual and reproductive health contraception services, non-contraceptive services, gynaecology, obstetrics, urology, sub-fertility, and sexually transmitted infections associated services, as well as special voluntary service and related care services.
The BFPA’s income also saw a five per cent increase in 2016. Langdon said half of the organisation’s revenue was self-generated, while subventions accounted for 31 percent, and the remaining 19 per cent came from donor and grant funding.
Langdon said, however, that there are still areas for improvement in the coming years, including improving the association’s marketing programme.