The Family Planning Association of India (FPAI), known for its women-centric health services, is now reaching out to men, transgender and homosexuals also by opening an exclusive evening clinic (4 p.m. to 7 p.m.) for them at its Madurai branch in Ellis Nagar recently.
A wide range of specific services pertaining to men’s sexual reproductive health, transgender, men having sex with men, injection drug users, sexually transmitted diseases, and people living with HIV will be provided through its outpatient wing in the clinic. “We are known for our sterilisation activities and most of our concentration has been on women only. To access other ‘key population’ groups, the evening clinic was opened a couple of months ago and the response is gradually picking up,” S. Prathiban, Branch Manager, told The Hindu on Tuesday.
Consultation, treatment and medicines would be provided at a nominal cost for these target groups. FPAI was meant not only for women. In the last few weeks, nearly 200 outpatient cases were registered at the evening clinic.
Another initiative taken by the FPAI’s Madurai branch was the opening of a satellite clinic at Solankurani near Avaniapuram last month. Through this clinic, free family planning services such as tubectomy and vasectomy would be provided to the villagers. The clinic was started since there was a sizable number of migrant workers and drivers living there. Medical officers and staff nurse had been appointed there.
Explaining about the overall performance of the Madurai branch, which was started in 1977, he said that 2,757 tubectomy procedures and 40 vasectomies had been performed between January and November this year. Focus was also on medical termination of pregnancy after thorough counselling.
“We work under the ambit of five ‘A’s — Access, Adolescence, Abortion, AIDS, and Advocacy. Several projects are being implemented for HIV-AIDS control with the support of Tamil Nadu State AIDS Control Society,” Mr. Prathiban said.
The FPAI, with 44 branches in India, is a leading voluntary organisation in the sphere of family planning and child health activities. It gets support from Central and State governments, besides various community groups and International Planned Parenthood Federation. In Tamil Nadu, there are four branches — Chennai, Madurai, Dindigul, and The Nilgiris.