In response to Bolivia’s spike in sexual violence and unplanned pregnancy during the pandemic, Ipas has created a telemedicine solution that provides support services for sexual and reproductive health and gender-based violence.
“Mi Telecon” (My Teleconference) offers free online consultations with physicians trained to provide care without discrimination or stigma—and with a focus on gender equity and a respect for sexual and reproductive rights.
“We’re trying to eliminate barriers that are present with face-to-face health care by offering a flexible, friendly, cost-free service,” explains Malena Morales, director of Ipas Bolivia. “The physicians we’ve trained promote a woman’s autonomy and privacy by providing her with information and counseling to support her in making her own reproductive health decisions.”
Ipas Bolivia has promoted Mi Telecon widely on Facebook. So far, according to initial user survey data, the service has been used by students, homemakers, and people working in a variety of professions. Almost all users (96%) said they were satisfied or very satisfied with their Mi Telecon experience.
Around the world, telehealth solutions are expanding access to sexual and reproductive health information and care—and likely represent a permanent shift that will continue to meet women’s needs beyond the pandemic.
“Telehealth approaches to providing sexual and reproductive health care are here to stay,” Morales says. “Doctors have seen that it works, especially for this type of care in which people often need information and options counseling first.”
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