THE EDITOR: In light of the recent media coverage of a family of 12 living below the poverty line, I call out the Family Planning Association of TT for failing to be accessible to the vulnerable population who needs it the most.
I challenge the president, Dr Jacqueline Sharpe and the chairman, Gerry Brooks, to make the Family Planning model more applicable, relevant and accessible to those who need it the most. I know Brooks is a successful corporate professional and I’m confident he can successfully reinvent the FPA.
I visited the Family Planning website and was pretty impressed with the quality of the site. But how many of the people who actually need family planning services are going to visit the website and receive help because of this fantastic website?
In fact, the more I looked at the website the more I thought that it is targeting the wrong people. It is like preaching to the converted.
We all know that many large families are usually on the lower income scale and do not have access to much needed resources. According to the FPA website, there are just four Family Planning clinics/locations in the entire country. Depending on where you live, just imagine the time, effort and money that will be required to get to a clinic, and perhaps have to wait and then of course pay for the service.
Yes pay. The website proudly declares, “We have increased our prices but we are still committed to providing excellent customer service.”
I have a dream that one day the FPA can proudly boast and say “we have weekly mobile clinics in all of the major at-risk/rural/depressed communities and we have achieved our goal of becoming accessible to the communities who need us the most.”
Even if for security reasons FPA officials need the police and army to go with them, please, I beg, take family planning to the vulnerable communities and don’t let these communities say, “We can’t find you” or worst, “Who is the FPA.”
GAIL-ANN LE BOURNE-BAIN, Tunapuna