Hey Doctor, why aren’t you prescribing the abortion pill?

The newly available abortion pill (Mifegymiso) is everywhere in the news these days. Based on all the media coverage, you would think the World Health Organization’s “gold-standard” would be widely available, but so far, only a few doctors seem to be offering it. What gives?

The drug is already available and used safely in over 60 countries, and is an effective way to terminate a pregnancy by using medication rather than surgery. It can be used early in a pregnancy (up to 7-weeks gestation in Canada) and is finally available on the Canadian market.

The thing is, many physicians and pharmacists who want to begin prescribing and stocking Mifegymiso don’t know where to locate the training or order the medication. Here’s a handy roadmap for all the doctors and pharmacists looking to provide medical abortion, but simply don’t know where to start.

Are you a physician?

You can access the training here. Click on “Accredited Medical Abortion Training Program” and then “Register Now.”  Fill out the form, and check your email for confirmation. Completing this course will make you eligible to be a Mifegymiso prescriber. Upon completion, you will be asked to enter your physician license number and be contacted by the manufacturer (Celopharma) to order and stock the medication.

Are you a pharmacist?

You can access the training here. Click on “Accredited Medical Abortion Training Program” and then “Register Now”. Fill out the form, and be sure to click the box that says “I am a Pharmacist.” Completing this course will make you eligible to stock Mifegymiso. Upon completion, you will be asked to enter your pharmacist license number and contacted by the manufacturer (Celopharma) to order and stock the medication.

Note: the non-accredited version of the training can also be selected if you do not require or wish to receive Continuing Medical Education credits. The accredited version costs $50.00 and you will receive a certificate upon completion. The non-accredited version is free. Anyone can take the non-accredited version but only practicing physicians and pharmacists will be contacted by Celopharma to order and stock the medication upon completion.

Completing the training will make physicians eligible to dispense Mifegymiso (and stock it, if they wish to do so at their clinics) and pharmacists eligible to dispense Mifegymiso to physicians. For physicians who do not wish to stock the medication at their clinics, or lack the existing infrastructure to do so, they will need to find the nearest clinic or pharmacy that is trained to dispense Mifegymiso and receive it from them.

Start the Conversation

Doctors and pharmacists have been slow to take the training. And those that have are largely existing abortion providers. This is a huge opportunity for existing providers and other physicians, like family doctors, to help close the gap in access to reproductive choice in Canada.

So let’s start the conversation! Ask questions – if you’re a health care provider, talk to your colleagues, if you’re a client/patient, talk to your providers. We’ve got a long way to go until all people in Canada truly have access to all of their pregnancy options but together, we can break down barriers.

Are you a health careprovider? Click here to download the SRH2017 handbook for quick tips on talking about abortion in a non-stigmatizing way.

 

 

Ready for some pillow talk? Open conversation is crucial

Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights (Action Canada) Executive Director Sandeep Prasad talks to XFM’s Sarah Cowan about the 2017 SRH Week campaign, what it is and why it’s important.

SRH Week 2017 is just around the corner!

This year, Sexual and Reproductive Health Awareness Week (SRH Week) will take place from February 12-18 with the theme: Ready for some pillow talk?

The 2017 campaign will build on last year’s “What’s Your Relationship Status” campaign by asking health care providers and clients/patients to “start the conversation” for the best possible care.

Open communication between health care providers and clients/patients is crucial to sexual and reproductive health.

On February 12th, we’ll be launching a quick reference book for health care providers and a blog series spotlighting health care providers making a real difference. We’ll be on Facebook and Twitter too! Find us @srhweek or download our social media kit (coming soon!).

The new campaign and material will be available on www.srhweek.ca as of February 12. Can’t wait until then? Check out campaign material from last year!
Of course, any campaign needs strong voices to really make a difference. Help promote sexual and reproductive health this SRH Week by displaying the posters, following @SRHweek on Twitter and Facebook, visiting www.srhweek.ca and helping to spread the word!

Want posters? No problem! If you would like to order copies of the poster, click here and fill out the poster order form. We’ll be happy to send you posters at no charge. For campaign graphics, social media tools, PDF copies of the poster and much more keep visiting www.srhweek.ca!

Now let’s start the conversation!

We want to hear from you!

We’re starting to prepare for Sexual and Reproductive Health Awareness Week 2017 and we want to hear from you! Click here to take our short survey

What’s your relationship status?

by Action Canada Executive Director Sandeep Prasad, originally published in The Huffington Post

Thirteen years ago, February 12th became Sexual and Reproductive Health Awareness Day — an awareness raising campaign launched by the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Canadian Federation for Sexual Health (now Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights).

The idea behind the day was about assisting health care providers (like doctors, nurses, clinicians and their staff) in promoting sexual and reproductive health in a comprehensive way.

Eventually the day became a week long campaign (SRH Week) and joined the online world with a website and social media pages. Each year focused on a different theme — from being able to ask questions about your sexual health to accessing information online and knowing how to “heart your parts.”

Strides were made and we’ve come a long way in the last 13 years but a lot is left to do. To this day, one major factor affecting sexual health is the relationship between health care providers and their clients (which include patients). Positive relationships between clients and providers foster better health outcomes and access to services. And on the flipside, negative relationships and experiences have the opposite effect.

Action Canada, in partnership with CPHA, is leading the 2016 national campaign and spent the last year meeting with community advocates and health care providers across Canada to discuss barriers to accessing quality health care that diverse communities and groups face and how we can work together to break these down.

We heard from a lot of different individuals and communities. Everyone had positive and negative experiences to share with tips and solutions to overcome barriers in accessing sexual health services. As health care professionals, we need to recognize how health intersects with people’s identities, communities and situations. We need to actively take these factors into account and work together to ensure that everyone is provided with the right care at the right time and in a way that is respectful and empowering.

As Canadians, we pride ourselves on our universal health care system. But the reality is that it isn’t reaching everyone. People living with disabilities are often excluded from decision-making when it comes to their health, time and time again sex workers find themselves in situations where their work rather than their health becomes the focus of the conversation, gatekeepers to abortion are spread across our health care system, people living in poverty are turned away, people who use drugs are written off and newcomers and refugees are misunderstood while Indigenous practices are dismissed altogether. On top of it all, racism, fatphobia, homophobia, transphobiaand ageism (among other issues) continue to show up in interactions between clients and those who care for them.

Not every experience is negative and there are lots of great examples of health care providers overcoming stigma and offering their clients the support they need. But unless we work together to build the relationships that foster good health, people and communities across Canada will continue to be left out of the “universal” health care system.

So here is what we are doing about it: under the theme “What’s Your Relationship Status?” this year’s SRH Week campaign offers the tools and information that both health care providers and clients need to build healthy 2-way relationships and to give and receive the best care. It also equips community members and leaders, including health care providers, with tools to enhance local capacity to address what gets in the way of good relationships and to champion a holistic approach to health care. Thewebsite includes the voices of health care providers and advocates as well as rights-holders and communities who continue to face barriers – addressing the issues they face and what health care providers can do to make their practices and their clinics more inclusive and welcoming to a greater diversity of people and communities.

While this year’s SRH Week considers ways for health care providers to be inclusive and welcoming, it also includes information on how to navigate the Internet for accurate sexual health information, how to prepare for your appointments and have those tough conversations with your doctor, your nurse or other health care professionals. There’s information about getting tested for STIs, about your privacyand your human rights. It’s all there – information at your fingertips to assist you in getting the care you need.

And now ask yourself, what’s your relationship status?

To learn more about Sexual and Reproductive Health Awareness Week and the important relationship between health care providers and health care clients, visitwww.srhweek.ca or follow #SRH2016

It’s finally here: SRH Week 2015!

2014 was a milestone year for sexual health and rights in Canada. The Canadian Federation for Sexual Health (formerly Planned Parenthood Canada), Action Canada for Population and Development (ACPD) and Canadians for Choice joined to become one strong unified voice for sexual and reproductive health. The new organization, Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights is a progressive, pro-choice charity that is up and running and ready to speak up for sexual and reproductive health and rights in Canada and globally.

And speak up we will! As Action Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Public Health Association, we are excited to take on Sexual and Reproductive Health Awareness Week, the campaign formerly hosted by the Canadian Federation for Sexual Health that takes place every year from February 9th to the 13th.

We are thrilled to re-introduce the Heart Your Parts theme with a refreshed look and campaign website. The site will be available year-round with reliable, easy to access, up to date and comprehensive information on sexual and reproductive health.

As part of the campaign, we want to hear from you with lively discussions on how together, as a local, national and global community, we can better promote and support sexual and reproductive health.

Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter using #HeartYourParts or send us your blog ideas.

Caring for our whole selves is an important and empowering part of positive relationships and good sexual health. And having access to accurate information is key to knowing how to care for our bodies. Browsing the Heart Your Parts campaign page, you’ll find a range of content: from simple health tips, to facts on issues like pregnancy and sexually transmissible infections (STIs) and discussions on consent and problem solving.

You’ll find a social media kit on the website too, to help you spread the word about sexual and reproductive health. Scan our Heart Your Parts avatars for a display picture or create your own! We also have youth friendly, inclusive, and sex-positive sample Tweets and Facebook posts for you to share with your networks. Have something else to say? We’d love to hear it! Tweet us at @SRHweek or use #HeartYourParts and let us know how you promote healthy sexualities.