Additional Global Affairs support bolsters SRH in the Philippines

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A Likhaan community health promoter prepares educational materials about COVID for distribution in Metro Manila. Credit: Likhaan

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, state medical facilities in the Philippines have been overloaded with COVID-19 patients. As in many countries, the government dedicated nearly all health funding to their pandemic response. A tremendous shortage of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services ensued. Women, in particular poor women, have not been able to access contraceptives or other SRH services from state health facilities.

Inter Pares is pleased to report that, in response to the situation, we secured additional support from Global Affairs Canada for our counterpart, Likhaan Women’s Health Center. This support bolstered Likhaan’s capacity to better provide SRH services in the context of the pandemic.

With this increased support, Likhaan was able to:

  • hire additional staff to expand the number of locations where women could access SRH services for free;
  • establish additional satellite clinics to bring SRH services closer to women in marginal areas of Metro Manila and nearby areas;
  • overcome lockdown-related transportation challenges by purchasing two vehicles to transport women to clinics to receive SRH services;
  • establish a telehealth system to support women to consult with medical staff remotely;
  • recruit, equip and train local women from marginalized communities as Community Health Promoters, not only in sexual and reproductive health but also in measures to respond to COVID-19.

This additional funding will support Likhaan from November 2020 to February 2022. To date, Likhaan has:

  • established five new satellite clinics and, between these and the existing clinics, provided over 17,000 patients with sexual and reproductive health services;
  • reached over 23,000 people with  information on sexual and reproductive health, sexual and gender-based violence as well as safety measures for COVID-19;
  • transported women and Likhaan staff who otherwise would not have been able to reach the clinics when local transportation was banned.

Inter Pares is grateful to Global Affairs Canada for continuing their support for Likhaan and providing additional resources during this difficult time. We continue to admire the dedication of the Likhaan staff and volunteers who are carrying out such great work under these circumstances.

This support bolstered Likhaan’s capacity to better provide SRH services in the context of the pandemic.


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