Founded in 1976, the Dominica Planned Parenthood Association (DPPA) focused on providing information and education to support the government’s clinical service delivery programme in its early years. It began delivering contraceptive services in response to the significant contraceptive needs of Dominicans (particularly among adolescents), and the staffing constraints of the government programme. As a result, people could be sure of at least one inexpensive, private outlet where their family planning needs could be fully met.
DPPA’s clinic is located the centre of the capital city and provides a range of services including family planning, pregnancy tests, family counselling and PAP smear screening. There’s an established community outreach programme which provides family planning through volunteers and shop owners, and an extensive programme of information and education activities. These include distributing pamphlets and posters, broadcasting short talks about family planning on radio and television and conducting community discussions.
The negative effects of Dominca’s high adolescent pregnancy rate are aggravated by local practices that force pregnant girls to drop out of school permanently. To reach young people, DPPA provides sexuality and life skills education in secondary schools and to adolescents outside the school system through rap sessions, lectures, discussions and films. DPPA has also established an Under 20 Club, a teen group that trains its members as peer educators.