- Categorized in: Public Health
The Adolescent Reproductive Health (ARH) Project emanated in Fiji in response to the global call for action, following the ICPD+5 in 1999. The initiative, which started as a pilot project under the UNFPA-funded national Reproductive Health Programme (1998-2002), demonstrated government’s recognition of emerging ARH issues and its commitment to respond appropriately to these issues.
In the early phase of development, the Ministry of Health recognized peer education and the establishment of ARH Centres as effective strategies for providing easy access to adolescent sexual and reproductive health (ASRH) information and services.
Initially, the focus revolved around peer support in the prevention of sexually transmitted infections (STI) and the promotion and advocacy of family planning services through a Peer Education Programme. The peer approach was designed for peer educators to reach other young people with ARH information and education.
The regional UNFPA-funded ARH Project started in 2001, coordinated by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and implemented in 10 Pacific island countries, including Fiji. Through this project, additional funds became more available to expand the scope of the project. The Ministry of Health appointed an ARH Project Officer in 2003 to coordinate the project at headquarter level.
Adolescent reproductive health is a key component of the national Reproductive Health Programme, which is part of the public health Programme under the Fiji Ministry of Health. ARH is reflected in the national corporate plan and the strategic plans of the Ministry. It is also incorporated into the divisional and sub-divisional business plans with the aim that implementation takes place at these levels.
The development of the 2008 work plan drafted at the regional Project Review and Planning meeting conducted in Nadi during 26th – 30th Dec 2007 which was attended by the General Manager Western Health Services AHD project Coordinators and the RH/EPI project officer for Northern Health Division. The draft work plan was again reviewed in a consultative meeting between the Director of Public Health, the ARH Project Officer and the Reproductive Health Project Officer for Reproductive SPC team in 2007. Revisions were incorporated before finalizing the document and submitting to the Ministry for approval.