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HealthRight International’s Ukrainian Field Team Provides SRH Services, Prioritizes GBV Response for Crisis-affected Populations

HealthRight International has provided essential health and psychosocial services to affected populations worldwide. The organization’s field offices in Ukraine have fulfilled this vision since its establishment in 2005, particularly focusing on marginalized populations, including people with HIV/AIDS, survivors of gender-based and domestic violence, and incarcerated youth.

“Sexual and reproductive health services are integrated into almost all of our programs aiming at improving the quality of life of women and girls,” said Halyna Skipalska, HealthRight Country Director for Ukraine and the Executive Director of the Ukrainian Foundation for Public Health. From evidence-based sexual health education for adolescents to psychosocial support for survivors of sexual violence, SRH awareness and access is the cornerstone of HealthRight International’s services available to women and girls in Ukraine.

Gender-based violence (GBV) response, in particular, centers the organization’s work. Skipalska said that in 2015 in response to the acute humanitarian crisis emerging in eastern Ukraine, there were 15 mobile clinics offering GBV response services when HealthRight Ukraine began working with UNFPA and UNICEF and national and local government stakeholders. The adoption of the Law Combating Domestic Violence in 2017 provided further momentum for GBV-related services. Today, more than 400 mobile clinics through Ukraine provide these services.

Increased GBV response programming also reflects the continuous community advocacy for GBV services – particularly needed because of the conflict in eastern Ukraine – and sustained commitment from local authorities. Skipalska added that nine daycare centers and 10 shelters support survivors of GBV created by HealthRight in Ukraine with UNFPA support and are funded exclusively by local authorities.

“This is a success story of advocacy for women who have suffered from GBV,”

Skipalska said.

Responding to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has required the organization to adapt services. The organization provides personal protective equipment (PPE), trained staff of infection risk reduction, and offering psychosocial support to clients through virtual platforms, according to Skipalska.

The Ukrainian HealthRight operation aspires to continue providing SRH access and services for marginalized groups in Ukraine to improve health outcomes and quality of life.

HealthRight International invites you to follow their work in Ukraine and their global field offices.