Dr. Rashida Panezai
“With the current COVID-19 health crisis changing norms, work-life balance is no longer a binary concept, but one that has evolved into a challenging confluence of needs between work, home, and family, all under one roof. Our first priority is protecting and supporting our front line healthcare professionals and support staff. Even under these extremely strained circumstances we cannot lose sight of our goal to “realize a society that allows access to reproductive health services, whenever and whoever it may be”. Rahnuma’s staff across Pakistan are making sacrifices every day, working under difficult circumstances and deserve our full support.
Despite lockdown, our SDPs are functional and we are also providing counselling and urgent consultation through our free helplines. All staff have been provided with PPE, and other protection tools, and our headquarter and regional staff are working from their homes on roster basis. Our community engagement services and outreach activities have been worse hit, which includes mobilization, training, counselling, community outreach sessions, peer-to-peer-sessions, mobile outreach and door-to-door home visits, and youth engagement channels. However, we are providing SRH counselling through our six dedicated helplines.
The world is going through a period of crisis, but whether we look at it as a crisis or as an opportunity to reshape our thinking depends on us. So use this period as a lesson on how to live life with a concern for all humankind. We will pull through it together as we all are one – together we are stronger!
We are carrying on our work together through advocacy, service delivery, information, and education to ensure access to SRH and to respond to gender-based violence at a time when women and girls need these services most. I want to thank staff and volunteers for making great efforts to enable SRH care even in the time of COVID-19. We must look at this pandemic as an opportunity to innovate in the way that we need to keep our focus on providing SRH services that keep our community safe and healthy.
It is in times of crisis that heroes are born. In all modesty, we want Rahnuma-FPAP values to shine at this difficult hour. This is the moment for extra effort, for going the extra mile to make a huge difference for our society.