World Health Day 2023 focuses on the journey to achieving Health For All, and marks 75 years since the founding of the World Health Organization. To amplify the call to action to tackle global health challenges of today and tomorrow, we are sharing a new project getting underway in the Caribbean focused on improving life for women and vulnerable populations.
In Jamaica, the country’s legal and social context restricts access to sexual and reproductive health resources for young girls, and fosters stigma and discrimination against vulnerable populations including the LGBTQ community and sex workers. These conditions lead to high levels of unplanned pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections and HIV, as well as vulnerability to sexual and gender-based violence.
Canada is responding through a new project to improve sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) for adolescent girls and vulnerable populations. Funded by Global Affairs Canada, the SAIL-SRHR Project stands for “Strengthening Access, Inclusion and Leadership for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in Jamaica.”
The project will target the country’s health regions with the greatest SRHR gaps: the Southeastern Region, including the urban area of Kingston-St. Andrew, and Southern region, which covers underserved rural communities.
Implemented in partnership with the Jamaica Family Planning Association and Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition, the SAIL-SRHR Project team will work to improve:
Access to inclusive health services;
Peer-led SRHR education;
School-based health curriculum and teaching;
Social media campaigns; and
Research and advocacy skills.
The team will work with health service providers, educators, parents, community leaders and decision-makers to help them take action to support relevant and inclusive SRHR.
Aligned with Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy, the project will take a rights-based and feminist approach, including supporting participatory research initiatives and policy advocacy by young girls and vulnerable groups to challenge discriminatory attitudes and laws.