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    Meeting the needs: El Salvador. Health services in the factories.

    FORUM. 1997 Jul; 13(1):20-1.

    This article describes the activities of the Asociacion Demografica Salvadorena (ADS) in provision of family planning services and education in El Salvador. ADS works directly with UNFPA to provide sexual and reproductive health services to the working class population. The programs operate with El Salvador government funding and technical and financial support from UNFPA and are operated by a nongovernmental organization. Program efforts include operating public education programs, training of volunteers in sexual and reproductive health from a gender perspective, training for couples and individuals in decision-making, and raising women's levels of self-esteem and decision-making capabilities. The program operates 25 Reproductive Health Units (UDESARs) within various companies. Trained staff offer family planning, counseling services, testing for cervical and uterine cancer, breast self-exams, and HIV and sexually transmitted disease prevention and reduction of reproductive risk. UDESARs use volunteer disseminators who educate and motivate coworkers on a variety of sexual and reproductive health issues. ADS initiated program operations by first sensitizing and motivating company owners. Only 1 in 3 companies was willing to cooperate, provide office space for services, and allow worker motivators. UDESAR total staff includes 25 counselors and 82 disseminators for 12,500 workers. 80% of workers are women, and about 80% are aged <30 years. Industry will benefit from better planned pregnancies, fewer absences, and shorter maternity leave. Workers gain from family stability, increased proximity of services and improved health, greater gender equity, and reduced risk.
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