- - -

Stories

Latest stories from IPPF

Spotlight

A selection of stories from across the Federation

Día Internacional de las Mujeres 8M en IPPF ACRO

Americas & the Caribbean

Story

Bridging the Gap through Community

How IPPF Member Associations in the Americas and the Caribbean commemorated International Women’s Day.
With over 30 years of practicing medicine, Dr. Camejo specializes in gynecology, pediatrics and post-natal care but says that most of her migrant clients come in with a much wider range of ailments. 
story

| 04 May 2021

Medicine Online and On Time

At her desk in the small, quiet office, sits an extraordinary Cuban physician and educator, whose accolades are second to none. Today, she is neither writing nor teaching on the advances in medical science, but rather, she is focused on her mobile phone. Engaged in a video call, she listens attentively to the person with whom she speaks. She shuffles in her chair, only for a brief moment, as if to make herself more comfortable and even more attentive. To Dr. Camejo, this is not just a job, this is her way of being present for a community that is in dire need of her help.   Four days a week, Dr. Mabel Camejo conducts TeleHealth, a telemedicine service initiated by the Family Planning Association of Trinidad and Tobago (FPATT) specifically for the Venezuelan and Cuban migrant communities. Her clients consider this service a god-send, as it allows them to book 30-minute consultations over WhatsApp video call. During the call, Dr. Camejo assesses and diagnoses her clients’ illnesses and prescribes medication if needed. If the client needs to be examined, she refers them to the FPATT clinic for hands- on assessment.    “My patients love it here. Many of them just don’t have the money or time to come in to the clinic for an appointment. If they have to take time off from work and that means no income for the day, but it’s easy when they can pick up the phone and send a message or take a call to get the same advice or treatment,” she notes.   Dr. Camejo recalls how technology has advanced since her practice in Cuba over 10 years ago. “In Cuba, the doctors go to the patient’s home so that we can chat with the whole family about how they can help the patient recover – whether it means reducing stress in the home, or cooking with less salt or sugar. There, we have to be the doctor for the entire family. Here, now in Trinidad, we get to do the same with TeleHealth. On the consultation call, we can address the whole family so that everyone understands the recovery path forward,” she said. “When people need help, you just have to help” With over 30 years of practicing medicine, Dr. Camejo specializes in gynecology, pediatrics and post-natal care but says that most of her migrant clients come in with a much wider range of ailments.  “Breast cancer is one I see very often. Then there is polycystic ovaries, diabetes, vaginal infections and even osteoarthritis. These women have been managing chronic illnesses that need constant and consistent treatment but because they cannot get medicine in Venezuela, they have to leave what they know as home to come here to Trinidad. It’s their only chance to survive,” she lamented.   Current policies in Trinidad and Tobago have prevented the migrants from accessing the public health care system unless they need pre-natal or emergency healthcare, so many of them with existing chronic illnesses have no other choice but to seek private care, which can be almost half of their weekly salary. However, FPATT’s mandate is to fight for equal Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights for all persons living within the nation’s borders and that includes the communities that need it the most.  In January 2020, FPATT launched an 8-module Zoom series for the migrant community that focused on the topics that were most critical to helping them integrate into their new home and culture. The structure was based on the IPPF’s One Curriculum, but designed to suit the needs of Trinidad and Tobago’s unique context. Dr. Camejo spoke from her expertise in Sexual and Reproductive Health, highlighting the use of contraceptives for planned pregnancies and the importance of regular pap smears to reduce the risk of cervical cancer.  “It’s information that they desperately need. They are in a new country, everything is different, including the systems, the culture and the food. They appreciate faces and voices that are familiar, sharing information that could save their lives,” she said. “This is what I love to do as a doctor. Since I was a little girl in Havana, I would watch my father speaking to his clients and he would be so careful with them and they would be so grateful that he came to see them. I feel the same way when I get to share and communicate with my clients. When people need help, you just have to help.” Dr. Mabel Camejo has been with FPATT for over 3 years and looks forward to serving the local Venezuelans and Cubans as long as she can. A migrant herself, she understands the intrinsic and changing needs of this community and continues to help FPATT tailor its services to ensure that equal opportunities in sexual and reproductive healthcare are afforded to all.          

With over 30 years of practicing medicine, Dr. Camejo specializes in gynecology, pediatrics and post-natal care but says that most of her migrant clients come in with a much wider range of ailments. 
story

| 29 May 2024

Medicine Online and On Time

At her desk in the small, quiet office, sits an extraordinary Cuban physician and educator, whose accolades are second to none. Today, she is neither writing nor teaching on the advances in medical science, but rather, she is focused on her mobile phone. Engaged in a video call, she listens attentively to the person with whom she speaks. She shuffles in her chair, only for a brief moment, as if to make herself more comfortable and even more attentive. To Dr. Camejo, this is not just a job, this is her way of being present for a community that is in dire need of her help.   Four days a week, Dr. Mabel Camejo conducts TeleHealth, a telemedicine service initiated by the Family Planning Association of Trinidad and Tobago (FPATT) specifically for the Venezuelan and Cuban migrant communities. Her clients consider this service a god-send, as it allows them to book 30-minute consultations over WhatsApp video call. During the call, Dr. Camejo assesses and diagnoses her clients’ illnesses and prescribes medication if needed. If the client needs to be examined, she refers them to the FPATT clinic for hands- on assessment.    “My patients love it here. Many of them just don’t have the money or time to come in to the clinic for an appointment. If they have to take time off from work and that means no income for the day, but it’s easy when they can pick up the phone and send a message or take a call to get the same advice or treatment,” she notes.   Dr. Camejo recalls how technology has advanced since her practice in Cuba over 10 years ago. “In Cuba, the doctors go to the patient’s home so that we can chat with the whole family about how they can help the patient recover – whether it means reducing stress in the home, or cooking with less salt or sugar. There, we have to be the doctor for the entire family. Here, now in Trinidad, we get to do the same with TeleHealth. On the consultation call, we can address the whole family so that everyone understands the recovery path forward,” she said. “When people need help, you just have to help” With over 30 years of practicing medicine, Dr. Camejo specializes in gynecology, pediatrics and post-natal care but says that most of her migrant clients come in with a much wider range of ailments.  “Breast cancer is one I see very often. Then there is polycystic ovaries, diabetes, vaginal infections and even osteoarthritis. These women have been managing chronic illnesses that need constant and consistent treatment but because they cannot get medicine in Venezuela, they have to leave what they know as home to come here to Trinidad. It’s their only chance to survive,” she lamented.   Current policies in Trinidad and Tobago have prevented the migrants from accessing the public health care system unless they need pre-natal or emergency healthcare, so many of them with existing chronic illnesses have no other choice but to seek private care, which can be almost half of their weekly salary. However, FPATT’s mandate is to fight for equal Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights for all persons living within the nation’s borders and that includes the communities that need it the most.  In January 2020, FPATT launched an 8-module Zoom series for the migrant community that focused on the topics that were most critical to helping them integrate into their new home and culture. The structure was based on the IPPF’s One Curriculum, but designed to suit the needs of Trinidad and Tobago’s unique context. Dr. Camejo spoke from her expertise in Sexual and Reproductive Health, highlighting the use of contraceptives for planned pregnancies and the importance of regular pap smears to reduce the risk of cervical cancer.  “It’s information that they desperately need. They are in a new country, everything is different, including the systems, the culture and the food. They appreciate faces and voices that are familiar, sharing information that could save their lives,” she said. “This is what I love to do as a doctor. Since I was a little girl in Havana, I would watch my father speaking to his clients and he would be so careful with them and they would be so grateful that he came to see them. I feel the same way when I get to share and communicate with my clients. When people need help, you just have to help.” Dr. Mabel Camejo has been with FPATT for over 3 years and looks forward to serving the local Venezuelans and Cubans as long as she can. A migrant herself, she understands the intrinsic and changing needs of this community and continues to help FPATT tailor its services to ensure that equal opportunities in sexual and reproductive healthcare are afforded to all.          

 Jonathan Trinidad FPA IEC coordinator
story

| 03 May 2021

Providing tailored comprehensive sexuality education

A passionate advocate for comprehensive sexuality education, Jonathan is Famia Planea Aruba’s (FPA) IEC coordinator and manages the scheduling, guiding, and delivery of school projects. As part of this role, he works closely with students to help support and shape their projects.  “We are approached almost on a daily bases, throughout the school year, by students needing appointments for their school projects. These projects can vary from information about sexual and reproductive health and rights to the internal structure of FPA as an organization. That is why it is very important to first ask what kind of project the student has been tasked with. Questions such as school, grade level, course name, number of students, project goal and due date are among just a few of the primary questions that must be asked when scheduling a school project”, Jonathan says. FPA has developed information packages that are topic-ready for most of the general projects. These are used as an information base, while the presentation and appointment are tailored to each individual student.  “We will sometimes receive multiple students or groups for the same project, this is bound to happen when an entire class receives the same project, it is then up to me to make each appointment different while providing the same information. Digital presentation is usually my tool of choice. This provides me the possibility to incorporate all the necessary information, but I can always make a few tweaks to personalize each presentation”, says Jonathan.  During project weeks at most of the schools, the FPA office can be busy with visiting students.  “After the start of the COVID-19 pandemic most of the school project appointments became digital meetings. Removing the human contact can sometime provide new challenges for both the students and us. This demands that the student be more prepared than before with sharper questions, since the traditional conversation that usually leads to more questions is different when using digital methods, but we will do our best to help the student in every way possible”, Jonathan mentions.  

 Jonathan Trinidad FPA IEC coordinator
story

| 29 May 2024

Providing tailored comprehensive sexuality education

A passionate advocate for comprehensive sexuality education, Jonathan is Famia Planea Aruba’s (FPA) IEC coordinator and manages the scheduling, guiding, and delivery of school projects. As part of this role, he works closely with students to help support and shape their projects.  “We are approached almost on a daily bases, throughout the school year, by students needing appointments for their school projects. These projects can vary from information about sexual and reproductive health and rights to the internal structure of FPA as an organization. That is why it is very important to first ask what kind of project the student has been tasked with. Questions such as school, grade level, course name, number of students, project goal and due date are among just a few of the primary questions that must be asked when scheduling a school project”, Jonathan says. FPA has developed information packages that are topic-ready for most of the general projects. These are used as an information base, while the presentation and appointment are tailored to each individual student.  “We will sometimes receive multiple students or groups for the same project, this is bound to happen when an entire class receives the same project, it is then up to me to make each appointment different while providing the same information. Digital presentation is usually my tool of choice. This provides me the possibility to incorporate all the necessary information, but I can always make a few tweaks to personalize each presentation”, says Jonathan.  During project weeks at most of the schools, the FPA office can be busy with visiting students.  “After the start of the COVID-19 pandemic most of the school project appointments became digital meetings. Removing the human contact can sometime provide new challenges for both the students and us. This demands that the student be more prepared than before with sharper questions, since the traditional conversation that usually leads to more questions is different when using digital methods, but we will do our best to help the student in every way possible”, Jonathan mentions.  

 Marvin Maduro FPA IT
story

| 03 May 2021

Aruba’s innovation in sexual and reproductive healthcare services

Famia Planea Aruba’s (FPA) online store is a successful social enterprise initiative, which is now one of their most innovative approaches to healthcare provision. Developing and managing a fully operational digital store with the added option for live chat and product guidance and information has enabled FPA to expand its reach.  Marvin is an experienced IT specialist who studied Computer Engineering Technology at Valencia Community College in the U.S. An integral member of the team, Marvin maintains FPA’s website and manages the online stock availability, delivery schedules, and public information. He is also responsible for their social media platforms.  FPA’s expert and dedicated team work from the heart to ensure they are able to adapt and deliver healthcare digitally.   “When returning back to home base in Aruba, I decided to help out in different companies and projects to further the digitalization of all platforms on the island. FPA started with just a small website back in 2010 and has grown into different projects and a very up-to-date website and online store”, says Marvin. “I take pride in helping FPA being a very technology forward organization.”

 Marvin Maduro FPA IT
story

| 29 May 2024

Aruba’s innovation in sexual and reproductive healthcare services

Famia Planea Aruba’s (FPA) online store is a successful social enterprise initiative, which is now one of their most innovative approaches to healthcare provision. Developing and managing a fully operational digital store with the added option for live chat and product guidance and information has enabled FPA to expand its reach.  Marvin is an experienced IT specialist who studied Computer Engineering Technology at Valencia Community College in the U.S. An integral member of the team, Marvin maintains FPA’s website and manages the online stock availability, delivery schedules, and public information. He is also responsible for their social media platforms.  FPA’s expert and dedicated team work from the heart to ensure they are able to adapt and deliver healthcare digitally.   “When returning back to home base in Aruba, I decided to help out in different companies and projects to further the digitalization of all platforms on the island. FPA started with just a small website back in 2010 and has grown into different projects and a very up-to-date website and online store”, says Marvin. “I take pride in helping FPA being a very technology forward organization.”

Jeanira van Eenennaam viewing an FPA educational video with daughter
story

| 02 May 2021

“It did stimulate conversations and questions for a few days"

Jeanira, 37, is a doctor’s assistant and has two young children aged two and 12. She has been a member of Famia Planea Aruba (FPA) for many years but only recently learned that FPA provides healthcare for all ages and stages of life – particularly young people.  “I am a mother of two wonderful children, a two-year-old boy and an almost twelve-year-old girl. As any parent does, I have to accept that my little girl is no longer so little and growing much faster than I am ready to accept. I do however try my best to be very open on accepting of her growth and changes in the hopes of helping her become her best self. About a year ago I had begun researching the best way and time to start talking to my daughter about her upcoming body changes, sexuality, and puberty in general”, Jeanira says.  Provision of sexual and reproductive healthcare for all, regardless of age, is at the core of FPA’s work. Over the years FPA has developed different information packages specifically aimed at reaching and supporting young people, families, and educators.   “There is of course endless information on the internet, but this is not always the most helpful since I now had the difficult task of filtering out what I saw as appropriate or not, as well as choosing trustworthy sources”, explains Jeanira. “During my search, a family member mentioned that she had seen a video on social media about puberty that was in our native language. After finding the video on FPA’s Facebook page and watching it myself first, I was over the moon. The video is fun, educational, featured local professionals, and related to my daughter’s age. I love the fact that I could introduce the video to her and let her watch it in her own comfort zone, just in case she was not in the mood to talk to me about the topic at hand or have me stare at her while she learned some of the most impactful changes heading her way. At the end, it did stimulate conversations and questions for a few days after and I truly made it easier for us to talk about some of the topics that can sometimes be a little hard to approach.”   Jeanira encouraged her 11-year-old daughter to use FPA’s OPEN program. “When my mom first told me she found a video for me to watch about puberty I was a bit scared. I do talk to my friends about some stuff, but talking to my mom sounded a bit awkward. My mom and I do talk a lot but I was still worried that it might get too deep. I didn’t think the video would be so funny”, Xiqiën remembers. “My favorite part was to be able to recognize some changes that I am going through right now. There are some changes that I would like to skip but I know it’s all part of the growing up process.”  “I’m so thankful that FPA had the idea to make such a fun video for us to learn from. There was some stuff that I already knew, but I also learned some new things. I did ask my mom a lot of questions after the video, mostly because they said that everyone is different and I really wanted to know how my mom is different from me. I don’t feel quite as worried to talk to my mom about these things anymore, I know that she will try to help.”  

Jeanira van Eenennaam viewing an FPA educational video with daughter
story

| 29 May 2024

“It did stimulate conversations and questions for a few days"

Jeanira, 37, is a doctor’s assistant and has two young children aged two and 12. She has been a member of Famia Planea Aruba (FPA) for many years but only recently learned that FPA provides healthcare for all ages and stages of life – particularly young people.  “I am a mother of two wonderful children, a two-year-old boy and an almost twelve-year-old girl. As any parent does, I have to accept that my little girl is no longer so little and growing much faster than I am ready to accept. I do however try my best to be very open on accepting of her growth and changes in the hopes of helping her become her best self. About a year ago I had begun researching the best way and time to start talking to my daughter about her upcoming body changes, sexuality, and puberty in general”, Jeanira says.  Provision of sexual and reproductive healthcare for all, regardless of age, is at the core of FPA’s work. Over the years FPA has developed different information packages specifically aimed at reaching and supporting young people, families, and educators.   “There is of course endless information on the internet, but this is not always the most helpful since I now had the difficult task of filtering out what I saw as appropriate or not, as well as choosing trustworthy sources”, explains Jeanira. “During my search, a family member mentioned that she had seen a video on social media about puberty that was in our native language. After finding the video on FPA’s Facebook page and watching it myself first, I was over the moon. The video is fun, educational, featured local professionals, and related to my daughter’s age. I love the fact that I could introduce the video to her and let her watch it in her own comfort zone, just in case she was not in the mood to talk to me about the topic at hand or have me stare at her while she learned some of the most impactful changes heading her way. At the end, it did stimulate conversations and questions for a few days after and I truly made it easier for us to talk about some of the topics that can sometimes be a little hard to approach.”   Jeanira encouraged her 11-year-old daughter to use FPA’s OPEN program. “When my mom first told me she found a video for me to watch about puberty I was a bit scared. I do talk to my friends about some stuff, but talking to my mom sounded a bit awkward. My mom and I do talk a lot but I was still worried that it might get too deep. I didn’t think the video would be so funny”, Xiqiën remembers. “My favorite part was to be able to recognize some changes that I am going through right now. There are some changes that I would like to skip but I know it’s all part of the growing up process.”  “I’m so thankful that FPA had the idea to make such a fun video for us to learn from. There was some stuff that I already knew, but I also learned some new things. I did ask my mom a lot of questions after the video, mostly because they said that everyone is different and I really wanted to know how my mom is different from me. I don’t feel quite as worried to talk to my mom about these things anymore, I know that she will try to help.”  

Evelyn Ras-Yarzagaray Executive Director Famia Planea Aruba
story

| 26 April 2021

COVID-19 inspires new approach to reaching young people during lockdown

The inspiration for delivering comprehensive sexuality education to young people digitally was propelled by the COVID-19 lockdown. Like other frontline healthcare providers, Famia Planea Aruba (FPA) was faced with unforeseen challenges about how to continue reaching their communities. Undeterred, the small team of four embraced the challenge to create, develop, and launch FPA’s first Online Puberty Educational News Program (OPEN).  With a background in marketing and extensive management experience, FPA’s Executive Director Evelyn Yarzagaray, led the project and team to successfully bring the digital platform to life.  “In the last few years, FPA’s in-school Comprehensive Sexuality Education program was growing rapidly, and then all of a sudden we hit a wall; our Island was in complete lockdown and all schools were closed. At first, we were very sad, since we were fully booked for the upcoming few months, and would lose the opportunity to reach thousands of young people”, Evelyn remembers.  Typically, during April and May FPA usually focuses on students between the ages of 11 and 13 and supporting with the transition from elementary school to secondary school. At this age young people are starting to experience changes to their bodies and hormones.  “We were all of a sudden bombarded with parents who started requesting one-on-one counseling sessions for their kids, but due to safety regulations, this was not an easy option. That was when we started looking for a way to reach both parent and child in the safety of their own homes. By converting materials used during our in-person CSE’s we developed an educational video that can be viewed by both parent and child”, says Evelyn The OPEN platform has been designed with a colorful background, emojis, and animation to appeal to its target audience. Users can access valuable information through the FAQ section, international news, and video content such as an interview with a Family Physician.  “The filming and editing were the longest and most difficult part of the entire process, but once it was launched, we immediately saw that is was completely worth it, reaching over 42,000 people on social media”, Evelyn says.   

Evelyn Ras-Yarzagaray Executive Director Famia Planea Aruba
story

| 29 May 2024

COVID-19 inspires new approach to reaching young people during lockdown

The inspiration for delivering comprehensive sexuality education to young people digitally was propelled by the COVID-19 lockdown. Like other frontline healthcare providers, Famia Planea Aruba (FPA) was faced with unforeseen challenges about how to continue reaching their communities. Undeterred, the small team of four embraced the challenge to create, develop, and launch FPA’s first Online Puberty Educational News Program (OPEN).  With a background in marketing and extensive management experience, FPA’s Executive Director Evelyn Yarzagaray, led the project and team to successfully bring the digital platform to life.  “In the last few years, FPA’s in-school Comprehensive Sexuality Education program was growing rapidly, and then all of a sudden we hit a wall; our Island was in complete lockdown and all schools were closed. At first, we were very sad, since we were fully booked for the upcoming few months, and would lose the opportunity to reach thousands of young people”, Evelyn remembers.  Typically, during April and May FPA usually focuses on students between the ages of 11 and 13 and supporting with the transition from elementary school to secondary school. At this age young people are starting to experience changes to their bodies and hormones.  “We were all of a sudden bombarded with parents who started requesting one-on-one counseling sessions for their kids, but due to safety regulations, this was not an easy option. That was when we started looking for a way to reach both parent and child in the safety of their own homes. By converting materials used during our in-person CSE’s we developed an educational video that can be viewed by both parent and child”, says Evelyn The OPEN platform has been designed with a colorful background, emojis, and animation to appeal to its target audience. Users can access valuable information through the FAQ section, international news, and video content such as an interview with a Family Physician.  “The filming and editing were the longest and most difficult part of the entire process, but once it was launched, we immediately saw that is was completely worth it, reaching over 42,000 people on social media”, Evelyn says.   

FPA Client Christopher Robles Age: 35 Occupation: Account Manager Marketing Agency
story

| 21 April 2021

Reaching 7,000 clients

Famia Planea Aruba (FPA) is proud to be able to serve over 7,000 clients and celebrated its 50th anniversary in November 2020. FPA strives to live up to the motto, ‘Improving your quality of life’, by ensuring its healthcare provision is accessible to everyone.  One regular client is Christopher, an account manager at a local marketing agency. “I am truly a big fan of FPA, they are really good at being inclusive to men as well as women. The entire staff is very client orientated, I have never felt judged or discriminated against while using any of their services, or while at their office. They are always ready to answer any questions I may have or ease any concern.” FPA has built a strong bond of trust and communication with its clients by sharing regular updates on their work and projects.  “I try as much as possible to stay up-to-date with FPA, I have followed all of their projects so far and have really enjoyed them. I can still remember when I was younger and had my first girlfriend, FPA was my go-to for information, guidance, tips and tricks. They are very good at adapting to each situation, whether it is personal, local or even global”.  FPA places great emphasis on listening to the community it supports to better understand their needs. This enables the team to provide their clients with carefully researched and targeted healthcare.  “Over the years, FPA has gone above and beyond to provide both myself and my partner with information and contraceptives. Over the last few years, in addition to visiting their office, I can follow-up my consultation by asking them additional questions through their social media counseling or even the delivery service”, says Christopher.  

FPA Client Christopher Robles Age: 35 Occupation: Account Manager Marketing Agency
story

| 29 May 2024

Reaching 7,000 clients

Famia Planea Aruba (FPA) is proud to be able to serve over 7,000 clients and celebrated its 50th anniversary in November 2020. FPA strives to live up to the motto, ‘Improving your quality of life’, by ensuring its healthcare provision is accessible to everyone.  One regular client is Christopher, an account manager at a local marketing agency. “I am truly a big fan of FPA, they are really good at being inclusive to men as well as women. The entire staff is very client orientated, I have never felt judged or discriminated against while using any of their services, or while at their office. They are always ready to answer any questions I may have or ease any concern.” FPA has built a strong bond of trust and communication with its clients by sharing regular updates on their work and projects.  “I try as much as possible to stay up-to-date with FPA, I have followed all of their projects so far and have really enjoyed them. I can still remember when I was younger and had my first girlfriend, FPA was my go-to for information, guidance, tips and tricks. They are very good at adapting to each situation, whether it is personal, local or even global”.  FPA places great emphasis on listening to the community it supports to better understand their needs. This enables the team to provide their clients with carefully researched and targeted healthcare.  “Over the years, FPA has gone above and beyond to provide both myself and my partner with information and contraceptives. Over the last few years, in addition to visiting their office, I can follow-up my consultation by asking them additional questions through their social media counseling or even the delivery service”, says Christopher.  

With over 30 years of practicing medicine, Dr. Camejo specializes in gynecology, pediatrics and post-natal care but says that most of her migrant clients come in with a much wider range of ailments. 
story

| 04 May 2021

Medicine Online and On Time

At her desk in the small, quiet office, sits an extraordinary Cuban physician and educator, whose accolades are second to none. Today, she is neither writing nor teaching on the advances in medical science, but rather, she is focused on her mobile phone. Engaged in a video call, she listens attentively to the person with whom she speaks. She shuffles in her chair, only for a brief moment, as if to make herself more comfortable and even more attentive. To Dr. Camejo, this is not just a job, this is her way of being present for a community that is in dire need of her help.   Four days a week, Dr. Mabel Camejo conducts TeleHealth, a telemedicine service initiated by the Family Planning Association of Trinidad and Tobago (FPATT) specifically for the Venezuelan and Cuban migrant communities. Her clients consider this service a god-send, as it allows them to book 30-minute consultations over WhatsApp video call. During the call, Dr. Camejo assesses and diagnoses her clients’ illnesses and prescribes medication if needed. If the client needs to be examined, she refers them to the FPATT clinic for hands- on assessment.    “My patients love it here. Many of them just don’t have the money or time to come in to the clinic for an appointment. If they have to take time off from work and that means no income for the day, but it’s easy when they can pick up the phone and send a message or take a call to get the same advice or treatment,” she notes.   Dr. Camejo recalls how technology has advanced since her practice in Cuba over 10 years ago. “In Cuba, the doctors go to the patient’s home so that we can chat with the whole family about how they can help the patient recover – whether it means reducing stress in the home, or cooking with less salt or sugar. There, we have to be the doctor for the entire family. Here, now in Trinidad, we get to do the same with TeleHealth. On the consultation call, we can address the whole family so that everyone understands the recovery path forward,” she said. “When people need help, you just have to help” With over 30 years of practicing medicine, Dr. Camejo specializes in gynecology, pediatrics and post-natal care but says that most of her migrant clients come in with a much wider range of ailments.  “Breast cancer is one I see very often. Then there is polycystic ovaries, diabetes, vaginal infections and even osteoarthritis. These women have been managing chronic illnesses that need constant and consistent treatment but because they cannot get medicine in Venezuela, they have to leave what they know as home to come here to Trinidad. It’s their only chance to survive,” she lamented.   Current policies in Trinidad and Tobago have prevented the migrants from accessing the public health care system unless they need pre-natal or emergency healthcare, so many of them with existing chronic illnesses have no other choice but to seek private care, which can be almost half of their weekly salary. However, FPATT’s mandate is to fight for equal Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights for all persons living within the nation’s borders and that includes the communities that need it the most.  In January 2020, FPATT launched an 8-module Zoom series for the migrant community that focused on the topics that were most critical to helping them integrate into their new home and culture. The structure was based on the IPPF’s One Curriculum, but designed to suit the needs of Trinidad and Tobago’s unique context. Dr. Camejo spoke from her expertise in Sexual and Reproductive Health, highlighting the use of contraceptives for planned pregnancies and the importance of regular pap smears to reduce the risk of cervical cancer.  “It’s information that they desperately need. They are in a new country, everything is different, including the systems, the culture and the food. They appreciate faces and voices that are familiar, sharing information that could save their lives,” she said. “This is what I love to do as a doctor. Since I was a little girl in Havana, I would watch my father speaking to his clients and he would be so careful with them and they would be so grateful that he came to see them. I feel the same way when I get to share and communicate with my clients. When people need help, you just have to help.” Dr. Mabel Camejo has been with FPATT for over 3 years and looks forward to serving the local Venezuelans and Cubans as long as she can. A migrant herself, she understands the intrinsic and changing needs of this community and continues to help FPATT tailor its services to ensure that equal opportunities in sexual and reproductive healthcare are afforded to all.          

With over 30 years of practicing medicine, Dr. Camejo specializes in gynecology, pediatrics and post-natal care but says that most of her migrant clients come in with a much wider range of ailments. 
story

| 29 May 2024

Medicine Online and On Time

At her desk in the small, quiet office, sits an extraordinary Cuban physician and educator, whose accolades are second to none. Today, she is neither writing nor teaching on the advances in medical science, but rather, she is focused on her mobile phone. Engaged in a video call, she listens attentively to the person with whom she speaks. She shuffles in her chair, only for a brief moment, as if to make herself more comfortable and even more attentive. To Dr. Camejo, this is not just a job, this is her way of being present for a community that is in dire need of her help.   Four days a week, Dr. Mabel Camejo conducts TeleHealth, a telemedicine service initiated by the Family Planning Association of Trinidad and Tobago (FPATT) specifically for the Venezuelan and Cuban migrant communities. Her clients consider this service a god-send, as it allows them to book 30-minute consultations over WhatsApp video call. During the call, Dr. Camejo assesses and diagnoses her clients’ illnesses and prescribes medication if needed. If the client needs to be examined, she refers them to the FPATT clinic for hands- on assessment.    “My patients love it here. Many of them just don’t have the money or time to come in to the clinic for an appointment. If they have to take time off from work and that means no income for the day, but it’s easy when they can pick up the phone and send a message or take a call to get the same advice or treatment,” she notes.   Dr. Camejo recalls how technology has advanced since her practice in Cuba over 10 years ago. “In Cuba, the doctors go to the patient’s home so that we can chat with the whole family about how they can help the patient recover – whether it means reducing stress in the home, or cooking with less salt or sugar. There, we have to be the doctor for the entire family. Here, now in Trinidad, we get to do the same with TeleHealth. On the consultation call, we can address the whole family so that everyone understands the recovery path forward,” she said. “When people need help, you just have to help” With over 30 years of practicing medicine, Dr. Camejo specializes in gynecology, pediatrics and post-natal care but says that most of her migrant clients come in with a much wider range of ailments.  “Breast cancer is one I see very often. Then there is polycystic ovaries, diabetes, vaginal infections and even osteoarthritis. These women have been managing chronic illnesses that need constant and consistent treatment but because they cannot get medicine in Venezuela, they have to leave what they know as home to come here to Trinidad. It’s their only chance to survive,” she lamented.   Current policies in Trinidad and Tobago have prevented the migrants from accessing the public health care system unless they need pre-natal or emergency healthcare, so many of them with existing chronic illnesses have no other choice but to seek private care, which can be almost half of their weekly salary. However, FPATT’s mandate is to fight for equal Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights for all persons living within the nation’s borders and that includes the communities that need it the most.  In January 2020, FPATT launched an 8-module Zoom series for the migrant community that focused on the topics that were most critical to helping them integrate into their new home and culture. The structure was based on the IPPF’s One Curriculum, but designed to suit the needs of Trinidad and Tobago’s unique context. Dr. Camejo spoke from her expertise in Sexual and Reproductive Health, highlighting the use of contraceptives for planned pregnancies and the importance of regular pap smears to reduce the risk of cervical cancer.  “It’s information that they desperately need. They are in a new country, everything is different, including the systems, the culture and the food. They appreciate faces and voices that are familiar, sharing information that could save their lives,” she said. “This is what I love to do as a doctor. Since I was a little girl in Havana, I would watch my father speaking to his clients and he would be so careful with them and they would be so grateful that he came to see them. I feel the same way when I get to share and communicate with my clients. When people need help, you just have to help.” Dr. Mabel Camejo has been with FPATT for over 3 years and looks forward to serving the local Venezuelans and Cubans as long as she can. A migrant herself, she understands the intrinsic and changing needs of this community and continues to help FPATT tailor its services to ensure that equal opportunities in sexual and reproductive healthcare are afforded to all.          

 Jonathan Trinidad FPA IEC coordinator
story

| 03 May 2021

Providing tailored comprehensive sexuality education

A passionate advocate for comprehensive sexuality education, Jonathan is Famia Planea Aruba’s (FPA) IEC coordinator and manages the scheduling, guiding, and delivery of school projects. As part of this role, he works closely with students to help support and shape their projects.  “We are approached almost on a daily bases, throughout the school year, by students needing appointments for their school projects. These projects can vary from information about sexual and reproductive health and rights to the internal structure of FPA as an organization. That is why it is very important to first ask what kind of project the student has been tasked with. Questions such as school, grade level, course name, number of students, project goal and due date are among just a few of the primary questions that must be asked when scheduling a school project”, Jonathan says. FPA has developed information packages that are topic-ready for most of the general projects. These are used as an information base, while the presentation and appointment are tailored to each individual student.  “We will sometimes receive multiple students or groups for the same project, this is bound to happen when an entire class receives the same project, it is then up to me to make each appointment different while providing the same information. Digital presentation is usually my tool of choice. This provides me the possibility to incorporate all the necessary information, but I can always make a few tweaks to personalize each presentation”, says Jonathan.  During project weeks at most of the schools, the FPA office can be busy with visiting students.  “After the start of the COVID-19 pandemic most of the school project appointments became digital meetings. Removing the human contact can sometime provide new challenges for both the students and us. This demands that the student be more prepared than before with sharper questions, since the traditional conversation that usually leads to more questions is different when using digital methods, but we will do our best to help the student in every way possible”, Jonathan mentions.  

 Jonathan Trinidad FPA IEC coordinator
story

| 29 May 2024

Providing tailored comprehensive sexuality education

A passionate advocate for comprehensive sexuality education, Jonathan is Famia Planea Aruba’s (FPA) IEC coordinator and manages the scheduling, guiding, and delivery of school projects. As part of this role, he works closely with students to help support and shape their projects.  “We are approached almost on a daily bases, throughout the school year, by students needing appointments for their school projects. These projects can vary from information about sexual and reproductive health and rights to the internal structure of FPA as an organization. That is why it is very important to first ask what kind of project the student has been tasked with. Questions such as school, grade level, course name, number of students, project goal and due date are among just a few of the primary questions that must be asked when scheduling a school project”, Jonathan says. FPA has developed information packages that are topic-ready for most of the general projects. These are used as an information base, while the presentation and appointment are tailored to each individual student.  “We will sometimes receive multiple students or groups for the same project, this is bound to happen when an entire class receives the same project, it is then up to me to make each appointment different while providing the same information. Digital presentation is usually my tool of choice. This provides me the possibility to incorporate all the necessary information, but I can always make a few tweaks to personalize each presentation”, says Jonathan.  During project weeks at most of the schools, the FPA office can be busy with visiting students.  “After the start of the COVID-19 pandemic most of the school project appointments became digital meetings. Removing the human contact can sometime provide new challenges for both the students and us. This demands that the student be more prepared than before with sharper questions, since the traditional conversation that usually leads to more questions is different when using digital methods, but we will do our best to help the student in every way possible”, Jonathan mentions.  

 Marvin Maduro FPA IT
story

| 03 May 2021

Aruba’s innovation in sexual and reproductive healthcare services

Famia Planea Aruba’s (FPA) online store is a successful social enterprise initiative, which is now one of their most innovative approaches to healthcare provision. Developing and managing a fully operational digital store with the added option for live chat and product guidance and information has enabled FPA to expand its reach.  Marvin is an experienced IT specialist who studied Computer Engineering Technology at Valencia Community College in the U.S. An integral member of the team, Marvin maintains FPA’s website and manages the online stock availability, delivery schedules, and public information. He is also responsible for their social media platforms.  FPA’s expert and dedicated team work from the heart to ensure they are able to adapt and deliver healthcare digitally.   “When returning back to home base in Aruba, I decided to help out in different companies and projects to further the digitalization of all platforms on the island. FPA started with just a small website back in 2010 and has grown into different projects and a very up-to-date website and online store”, says Marvin. “I take pride in helping FPA being a very technology forward organization.”

 Marvin Maduro FPA IT
story

| 29 May 2024

Aruba’s innovation in sexual and reproductive healthcare services

Famia Planea Aruba’s (FPA) online store is a successful social enterprise initiative, which is now one of their most innovative approaches to healthcare provision. Developing and managing a fully operational digital store with the added option for live chat and product guidance and information has enabled FPA to expand its reach.  Marvin is an experienced IT specialist who studied Computer Engineering Technology at Valencia Community College in the U.S. An integral member of the team, Marvin maintains FPA’s website and manages the online stock availability, delivery schedules, and public information. He is also responsible for their social media platforms.  FPA’s expert and dedicated team work from the heart to ensure they are able to adapt and deliver healthcare digitally.   “When returning back to home base in Aruba, I decided to help out in different companies and projects to further the digitalization of all platforms on the island. FPA started with just a small website back in 2010 and has grown into different projects and a very up-to-date website and online store”, says Marvin. “I take pride in helping FPA being a very technology forward organization.”

Jeanira van Eenennaam viewing an FPA educational video with daughter
story

| 02 May 2021

“It did stimulate conversations and questions for a few days"

Jeanira, 37, is a doctor’s assistant and has two young children aged two and 12. She has been a member of Famia Planea Aruba (FPA) for many years but only recently learned that FPA provides healthcare for all ages and stages of life – particularly young people.  “I am a mother of two wonderful children, a two-year-old boy and an almost twelve-year-old girl. As any parent does, I have to accept that my little girl is no longer so little and growing much faster than I am ready to accept. I do however try my best to be very open on accepting of her growth and changes in the hopes of helping her become her best self. About a year ago I had begun researching the best way and time to start talking to my daughter about her upcoming body changes, sexuality, and puberty in general”, Jeanira says.  Provision of sexual and reproductive healthcare for all, regardless of age, is at the core of FPA’s work. Over the years FPA has developed different information packages specifically aimed at reaching and supporting young people, families, and educators.   “There is of course endless information on the internet, but this is not always the most helpful since I now had the difficult task of filtering out what I saw as appropriate or not, as well as choosing trustworthy sources”, explains Jeanira. “During my search, a family member mentioned that she had seen a video on social media about puberty that was in our native language. After finding the video on FPA’s Facebook page and watching it myself first, I was over the moon. The video is fun, educational, featured local professionals, and related to my daughter’s age. I love the fact that I could introduce the video to her and let her watch it in her own comfort zone, just in case she was not in the mood to talk to me about the topic at hand or have me stare at her while she learned some of the most impactful changes heading her way. At the end, it did stimulate conversations and questions for a few days after and I truly made it easier for us to talk about some of the topics that can sometimes be a little hard to approach.”   Jeanira encouraged her 11-year-old daughter to use FPA’s OPEN program. “When my mom first told me she found a video for me to watch about puberty I was a bit scared. I do talk to my friends about some stuff, but talking to my mom sounded a bit awkward. My mom and I do talk a lot but I was still worried that it might get too deep. I didn’t think the video would be so funny”, Xiqiën remembers. “My favorite part was to be able to recognize some changes that I am going through right now. There are some changes that I would like to skip but I know it’s all part of the growing up process.”  “I’m so thankful that FPA had the idea to make such a fun video for us to learn from. There was some stuff that I already knew, but I also learned some new things. I did ask my mom a lot of questions after the video, mostly because they said that everyone is different and I really wanted to know how my mom is different from me. I don’t feel quite as worried to talk to my mom about these things anymore, I know that she will try to help.”  

Jeanira van Eenennaam viewing an FPA educational video with daughter
story

| 29 May 2024

“It did stimulate conversations and questions for a few days"

Jeanira, 37, is a doctor’s assistant and has two young children aged two and 12. She has been a member of Famia Planea Aruba (FPA) for many years but only recently learned that FPA provides healthcare for all ages and stages of life – particularly young people.  “I am a mother of two wonderful children, a two-year-old boy and an almost twelve-year-old girl. As any parent does, I have to accept that my little girl is no longer so little and growing much faster than I am ready to accept. I do however try my best to be very open on accepting of her growth and changes in the hopes of helping her become her best self. About a year ago I had begun researching the best way and time to start talking to my daughter about her upcoming body changes, sexuality, and puberty in general”, Jeanira says.  Provision of sexual and reproductive healthcare for all, regardless of age, is at the core of FPA’s work. Over the years FPA has developed different information packages specifically aimed at reaching and supporting young people, families, and educators.   “There is of course endless information on the internet, but this is not always the most helpful since I now had the difficult task of filtering out what I saw as appropriate or not, as well as choosing trustworthy sources”, explains Jeanira. “During my search, a family member mentioned that she had seen a video on social media about puberty that was in our native language. After finding the video on FPA’s Facebook page and watching it myself first, I was over the moon. The video is fun, educational, featured local professionals, and related to my daughter’s age. I love the fact that I could introduce the video to her and let her watch it in her own comfort zone, just in case she was not in the mood to talk to me about the topic at hand or have me stare at her while she learned some of the most impactful changes heading her way. At the end, it did stimulate conversations and questions for a few days after and I truly made it easier for us to talk about some of the topics that can sometimes be a little hard to approach.”   Jeanira encouraged her 11-year-old daughter to use FPA’s OPEN program. “When my mom first told me she found a video for me to watch about puberty I was a bit scared. I do talk to my friends about some stuff, but talking to my mom sounded a bit awkward. My mom and I do talk a lot but I was still worried that it might get too deep. I didn’t think the video would be so funny”, Xiqiën remembers. “My favorite part was to be able to recognize some changes that I am going through right now. There are some changes that I would like to skip but I know it’s all part of the growing up process.”  “I’m so thankful that FPA had the idea to make such a fun video for us to learn from. There was some stuff that I already knew, but I also learned some new things. I did ask my mom a lot of questions after the video, mostly because they said that everyone is different and I really wanted to know how my mom is different from me. I don’t feel quite as worried to talk to my mom about these things anymore, I know that she will try to help.”  

Evelyn Ras-Yarzagaray Executive Director Famia Planea Aruba
story

| 26 April 2021

COVID-19 inspires new approach to reaching young people during lockdown

The inspiration for delivering comprehensive sexuality education to young people digitally was propelled by the COVID-19 lockdown. Like other frontline healthcare providers, Famia Planea Aruba (FPA) was faced with unforeseen challenges about how to continue reaching their communities. Undeterred, the small team of four embraced the challenge to create, develop, and launch FPA’s first Online Puberty Educational News Program (OPEN).  With a background in marketing and extensive management experience, FPA’s Executive Director Evelyn Yarzagaray, led the project and team to successfully bring the digital platform to life.  “In the last few years, FPA’s in-school Comprehensive Sexuality Education program was growing rapidly, and then all of a sudden we hit a wall; our Island was in complete lockdown and all schools were closed. At first, we were very sad, since we were fully booked for the upcoming few months, and would lose the opportunity to reach thousands of young people”, Evelyn remembers.  Typically, during April and May FPA usually focuses on students between the ages of 11 and 13 and supporting with the transition from elementary school to secondary school. At this age young people are starting to experience changes to their bodies and hormones.  “We were all of a sudden bombarded with parents who started requesting one-on-one counseling sessions for their kids, but due to safety regulations, this was not an easy option. That was when we started looking for a way to reach both parent and child in the safety of their own homes. By converting materials used during our in-person CSE’s we developed an educational video that can be viewed by both parent and child”, says Evelyn The OPEN platform has been designed with a colorful background, emojis, and animation to appeal to its target audience. Users can access valuable information through the FAQ section, international news, and video content such as an interview with a Family Physician.  “The filming and editing were the longest and most difficult part of the entire process, but once it was launched, we immediately saw that is was completely worth it, reaching over 42,000 people on social media”, Evelyn says.   

Evelyn Ras-Yarzagaray Executive Director Famia Planea Aruba
story

| 29 May 2024

COVID-19 inspires new approach to reaching young people during lockdown

The inspiration for delivering comprehensive sexuality education to young people digitally was propelled by the COVID-19 lockdown. Like other frontline healthcare providers, Famia Planea Aruba (FPA) was faced with unforeseen challenges about how to continue reaching their communities. Undeterred, the small team of four embraced the challenge to create, develop, and launch FPA’s first Online Puberty Educational News Program (OPEN).  With a background in marketing and extensive management experience, FPA’s Executive Director Evelyn Yarzagaray, led the project and team to successfully bring the digital platform to life.  “In the last few years, FPA’s in-school Comprehensive Sexuality Education program was growing rapidly, and then all of a sudden we hit a wall; our Island was in complete lockdown and all schools were closed. At first, we were very sad, since we were fully booked for the upcoming few months, and would lose the opportunity to reach thousands of young people”, Evelyn remembers.  Typically, during April and May FPA usually focuses on students between the ages of 11 and 13 and supporting with the transition from elementary school to secondary school. At this age young people are starting to experience changes to their bodies and hormones.  “We were all of a sudden bombarded with parents who started requesting one-on-one counseling sessions for their kids, but due to safety regulations, this was not an easy option. That was when we started looking for a way to reach both parent and child in the safety of their own homes. By converting materials used during our in-person CSE’s we developed an educational video that can be viewed by both parent and child”, says Evelyn The OPEN platform has been designed with a colorful background, emojis, and animation to appeal to its target audience. Users can access valuable information through the FAQ section, international news, and video content such as an interview with a Family Physician.  “The filming and editing were the longest and most difficult part of the entire process, but once it was launched, we immediately saw that is was completely worth it, reaching over 42,000 people on social media”, Evelyn says.   

FPA Client Christopher Robles Age: 35 Occupation: Account Manager Marketing Agency
story

| 21 April 2021

Reaching 7,000 clients

Famia Planea Aruba (FPA) is proud to be able to serve over 7,000 clients and celebrated its 50th anniversary in November 2020. FPA strives to live up to the motto, ‘Improving your quality of life’, by ensuring its healthcare provision is accessible to everyone.  One regular client is Christopher, an account manager at a local marketing agency. “I am truly a big fan of FPA, they are really good at being inclusive to men as well as women. The entire staff is very client orientated, I have never felt judged or discriminated against while using any of their services, or while at their office. They are always ready to answer any questions I may have or ease any concern.” FPA has built a strong bond of trust and communication with its clients by sharing regular updates on their work and projects.  “I try as much as possible to stay up-to-date with FPA, I have followed all of their projects so far and have really enjoyed them. I can still remember when I was younger and had my first girlfriend, FPA was my go-to for information, guidance, tips and tricks. They are very good at adapting to each situation, whether it is personal, local or even global”.  FPA places great emphasis on listening to the community it supports to better understand their needs. This enables the team to provide their clients with carefully researched and targeted healthcare.  “Over the years, FPA has gone above and beyond to provide both myself and my partner with information and contraceptives. Over the last few years, in addition to visiting their office, I can follow-up my consultation by asking them additional questions through their social media counseling or even the delivery service”, says Christopher.  

FPA Client Christopher Robles Age: 35 Occupation: Account Manager Marketing Agency
story

| 29 May 2024

Reaching 7,000 clients

Famia Planea Aruba (FPA) is proud to be able to serve over 7,000 clients and celebrated its 50th anniversary in November 2020. FPA strives to live up to the motto, ‘Improving your quality of life’, by ensuring its healthcare provision is accessible to everyone.  One regular client is Christopher, an account manager at a local marketing agency. “I am truly a big fan of FPA, they are really good at being inclusive to men as well as women. The entire staff is very client orientated, I have never felt judged or discriminated against while using any of their services, or while at their office. They are always ready to answer any questions I may have or ease any concern.” FPA has built a strong bond of trust and communication with its clients by sharing regular updates on their work and projects.  “I try as much as possible to stay up-to-date with FPA, I have followed all of their projects so far and have really enjoyed them. I can still remember when I was younger and had my first girlfriend, FPA was my go-to for information, guidance, tips and tricks. They are very good at adapting to each situation, whether it is personal, local or even global”.  FPA places great emphasis on listening to the community it supports to better understand their needs. This enables the team to provide their clients with carefully researched and targeted healthcare.  “Over the years, FPA has gone above and beyond to provide both myself and my partner with information and contraceptives. Over the last few years, in addition to visiting their office, I can follow-up my consultation by asking them additional questions through their social media counseling or even the delivery service”, says Christopher.