pregnancies per year in adolescents
women are widowed or divorced
illegal abortions carried out every day
Provinces in the north and east of Sri Lanka are slowly recovering from a civil war which lasted 26 years. Whilst there are positive developments throughout the country, they are difficult to measure for those who are the most impoverished. Women, many of whom find themselves alone, widowed or abandoned, suffer various forms of harrassement, exploitation and sexual abuse. Owing to strong cultural barriers, patriarchal traditions and numerous taboos, access to sexual and reproductive healthcare services remains limited.
For the Tamils of Indian origin, who have worked in the plantations for 5 generations, access to basic services still remains limited. This situation was reinforced by the late granting of Sri-Lankan citizenship in 2003, by geographical isolation and the language barrier. In this type of environment, women, adolescents and children are particularly vulnerable.
What we do
Supporting women and adolescent girls
Since 2015 Doctors of the World has been developing a project to improve the quality of sexual and reproductive health services. Particular attention was paid to access to contraception, prevention and treatment of STIs as well as dealing with gender based violence. Along with its Sri Lankan partners, Human Development Organisation and Family Rehabilitation Centre, the association trains medical personnel and teachers and organises awareness building sessions for populations in the north and centre of the country. The association is also trying to prevent early unwanted pregnancies and to improve identification of victims of gender based violence and their care in existing medical facilities.
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