HIV/STI & GBV Antenatal Programs
Under a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Ministry of Health (MOH), Empower Pacific provides HIV/STI counselling for women in antenatal clinics (ANCs) in all Divisional Hospitals and many health centres across Fiji. The program aims to promote empowerment through enhanced awareness and informed consent in the process of HIV/STI testing services in routine antenatal care.
By providing quality pre and post test counselling the program supports women to better understand the health issues and self assess for risks in their lives, as well as promoting behaviour change and increased condom use for protection against HIV/STI's. The program also provides educational talks on HIV/STI’s in antenatal clinics and disseminates IEC materials for wider coverage and promoting attendance and testing of partners. The program incorporates a particular focus on engaging male partners in HIV/STI awareness, testing and safe behaviours, as well as over-all antenatal involvement.
Recently Empower Pacific has integrated Gender Based Violence questions into the pre and post test interviews in order to provide wide scale screening and awareness raising amongst this identified high risk group of women. The program supports women to identify gender violence issues in their lives and to access support through the Empower Pacific counselling and social work services on hand, or through other community referrals.
Empower Pacific has also increased its focus on engaging men in preventing violence against women and children through targeted IEC materials included in a take-home “Men’s Pack”. The impact of the Men’s Pack has been positively evaluated thus far in terms of being well received and many of the women who have provided with a Men’s Pack have reported observing their partners’ positive behavior change as a result of reading the pack.