Marie Stopes International Australia

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It’s 7am and nurse Sahien unlocks the staffroom for the busy day ahead; the first clients will arrive for IUDs and contraceptive implant in 30 minutes. Her team will also be assisting doctors with termination procedures. Yesterday it was vasectomies.

The clinic run by Marie Stopes International in Sydney where she works is high tech; the equipment is new, everything is spotless. But the priority for the doctors and nurses who work here is to provide non-judgemental, quality care to their clients.

“In countries like Australia, we charge affordable prices. That money is then reinvested in our services locally and internationally,” explains Sahien. This means we can provide quality care and services to the local community, while also supporting vital programs in developing countries.

Sahien’s team takes extra steps to help their sister centre in Papua New Guinea. “We started selling heat packs in our clinic to support them. We didn’t think much of it at the time. But they bought a water tank with the money and wrote a beautiful letter saying what a difference it’s made.”

This feel-good moment bolstered morale, and prompted the Australian staff to go further. “We’re collecting surgical scrubs for the PNG team and having movie nights to help them pay the electricity bills,” adds Sahien. “We get regular updates from them. It reminds us what we’re about.”

Though the environments could not be more different, the essence of the care provided in this inner-city Australian suburb and a mountain village is the same. “Women complete a survey after their procedure,” says Sahein. “You see many of the same responses. They say that we’ve made a big difference in their lives; that they feel safe.”

These sentiments, and the 97 percent approval rating in Sahein’s centre, are mirrored in the Papua New Guinea program (pictured) it helps support.

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