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Classified in: Health, Business
Subjects: ECO, WOM, BLK, LGB, NTA, CFG, DEI

Government of Canada Improves Access to Sexual and Reproductive Health Services


EDMONTON, AB, Sept. 7, 2023 /CNW/ - Everyone, regardless of their sexual or gender identity, should have access to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services and resources that are safe and stigma-free. However, experiences of discrimination within Canada's health care system have and continue to make it more difficult for many members of marginalized groups to get the care they need. This is especially true for 2SLGBTQI+, Indigenous, Black and racialized communities, as well as women and youth, as the barriers they face are also compounded by a lack of culturally safe, relevant, equitable and stigma-free information and services.

Today, the Honourable Mark Holland, Minister of Health, announced close to $1.3 million in funding from Health Canada's SRH Fund to support projects led by the Sexuality Education Resource Centre Manitoba and the Canadian HIV/AIDS Black, African and Caribbean (CHABAC) Network housed at HIV Edmonton. These innovative projects will improve access to vital SRH services and reduce barriers to care for these underserved communities across the Prairies and beyond, through health care provider training, SRH awareness campaigns, and culturally relevant tools and resources.

The SRH Fund was established through Budget 2021 with an initial investment of $45 million to improve access to SRH care for people in Canada who face the greatest barriers to access, with an additional $36 million made through Budget 2023.

This announcement reflects the Government of Canada's belief that everyone has the right to access safe and relevant SRH services, and is an example of how the Government is supporting human rights.

Quotes

"Sexual and reproductive health services are health care. As many individuals continue to face barriers and stigma when trying to access these services, organizations like HIV Edmonton and the Sexuality Resource Centre Manitoba are doing important work to support and improve access for everyone, no matter who they are or where they live."

The Honourable Mark Holland
Minister of Health

"Everyone has the right to access safe, and stigma-free sexual and reproductive health services.  Organizations like HIV Edmonton and the Sexuality Resource Centre Manitoba improve access and reduce barriers to these services for underserved communities across the Prairies. Our government is here as a partner in this important work."

The Honourable Randy Boissonnault
Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages and MP for Edmonton Centre

"Health equity outcomes can be improved when people have access to sexual reproductive health information that resonates with their lived experience.  Mobilizing ACB communities under the CHABAC banner has been recognized by UNAIDS 2019 Programme Coordinating Board report.  HIV Edmonton is honoured to host the CHABAC Network in their national effort, coordinating five hub sites, with this funding to impact the sexual reproductive health of ACB people across the nation."

Catherine Broomfield, Executive Director
HIV Edmonton

"Increasing SERC's ability to provide culturally relevant, appropriate, and timely education in the form of resources and training was highlighted as a need over the course of the pandemic. By offering both digital and in-person programming, SERC will be better able to provide equitable access to information, programs, and services to underserved and marginalized populations. The development of bilingual and culturally safer resources, the launch of our Learning Management System, and the expansion of our Facts of Life information service means we'll be able to reach communities who cannot physically travel to access our services or would otherwise be excluded due to cultural or linguistic barriers. This funding will improve the ability of all Manitobans to access essential comprehensive sexual health education, information and resources."

Leigh Anne Caron and Gillian Roy, Co-Executive Directors
Sexuality Education Resource Centre Manitoba

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SOURCE Health Canada


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