One month on from Cyclone Winston, IPPF has helped hundreds of families, including new mothers and pregnant women. Thousands of people are disaplaced and 43 have now been confirmed dead in the worst tropical super-storm to have ever hit the Pacific.
IPPF’s humanitarian wing, the SPRINT Initiative, is solely funded by the Australian Government to provide life-saving sexual and reproductive health services following a humanitarian crisis. The Australian Government provided an additional AUD $100,000 to ensure SPRINT could respond to the worst affected populations.
IPPF’s assistance includes distributing hygiene and dignity kits to pregnant women and new mothers, providing maternal and neonatal healthcare, providing family planning and prevention programs to reduce the spread of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.
There has been an urgent need to respond to the immediate sexual and reproductive health needs of communities, specifically vulnerable groups such as pregnant and lactating women and women & girls at risk of gender-based violence. In crisis settings rates of gender-based violence drastically increase, and SPRINT has provided survivors with emergency care and services.
IPPF-SPRINT has reproductive health missions in the provinces of Nataleira, Natalecake, Vadravadra. The Ministry of Health, under the Fiji Government, has also committed their medical staff to IPPF's medical camps.
The Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Julie Bishop paid a visit to IPPF-SPRINT’s SRH mission in early March to observe the work of the Australian-funded response. The Minister also distributed hygiene kits to the affected population in Rakiraki hospital in western Fiji.
Apart from providing key sexual reproductive services, IPPF-SPRINT is also providing basic medical assistance to those affected.