When people hear about “Family Planning,” the name by which most citizens refer to the Antigua Planned Parenthood Association (APPA), they immediately think of contraceptives, but Lyndale Weaver-Greenaway, executive director of the association would like to enlighten the public that the body offers a variety of services.
“We want people to know that we provide safe, reliable and affordable contraceptives, but we also offer other medical services. For instance, we do blood pressure, blood sugar and those are done on a daily basis,” Weaver-Greenaway informed The Daily OBSERVER yesterday.
“We also do pap smears, HIV testing, pre and post-test counselling,” the director added, emphasising that the HIV testing is voluntary.
According to Weaver-Greenaway, APPA personnel give lectures in sexual and reproductive health at the School of Nursing, the Royal Police Force of Antigua & Barbuda, The Antigua & Barbuda Defence Force and in primary and secondary schools.
With respect to the police, the director said, “Every time they have a branch of new recruits, they ask us to come in and we do this in collaboration with Dr Ramsey and the AIDS Secretariat.”
Other facilitators include Gisele Joshua, a breast cancer survivor, who lectures on that particular topic, Cleon Athill on self-esteem and Weaver-Greenaway on contraceptives and other health issues.
In the schools, the lectures complement the Health & Family Life Education (HFLE) programme. She explained that before the HFLE initiative, the association would visit the schools on a regular basis, but since the introduction of HFLE the association only does so by invitation.
However, the director feels that the schools would benefit from scheduled visits by APPA.
“Personally, I think that the schools would benefit from the sexual reproductive lectures, which we would be willing to do, so that we’d know once a month we’d go to this school or twice a month we’d go to this school, both secondary and primary,” Weaver-Greenaway added.
In providing a brief history of the organisation, the director said that the APPA came into being in September 1970, but the concept of family planning was introduced in the 1960s. It is still located at its initial location on Bishopgate Street.
The organisation was started by the late Dr Sir Luther Wynter, who was later joined by the late Dr Ivor Heath, Sir Prince, Daisy Matthew, who was the first executive director, Haselyn Benjamin and Inez Stevens.
APPA is a member of the Caribbean Family Planning Affiliation whose CEO is Dr Tirbani Jagdeo. The head office is situated on Factory Road.
The association is funded by the International Planned Parenthood Association, a non-governmental association, as well as through duty free concessions and medical supplies from the government.
APPA is run by a nine-member board whose president and vice president are Sheila Pigott and Dr Evans Moulon, respectively.