PSI Caribbean’s mission is to respond to the prevailing health needs of the people of the Caribbean region through innovative programs that increase access to health education, products and services.
Our Presence in
PSI Caribbean believes that getting the right products and services to vulnerable populations is key to helping people live healthy lives. Equally important is making sure they are in a supportive environment that encourages the uptake of the services. PSI Caribbean uses social and behavior change communication (SBCC) to motivate persons to adopt healthier behaviors, such as using a condom, doing regular cancer screening and reducing sugar intake.
We Focus On
According to The Gap Report published by UNAIDS in 2014, there are an estimated 250,000 people living with HIV in the Caribbean. The predominant mode of HIV transmission is heterosexual intercourse, and new HIV infections among young women now surpass those among men in many countries. PSI Caribbean past HIV programming has aimed to reduce the risk of HIV and promote sexual health among target populations through behavior change communication activities and messages designed to respond to key behavioral determinants.
Both HIV/AIDS and poor sexual and reproductive health are driven by common root causes, including poverty, gender inequality and social marginalization of key populations. From 2009 to 2015, PSI Caribbean partnered with local affiliates of the International Planned Parenthood Federation to build their clinical capacity, researching at the community level and targeting underserved populations to increase knowledge, social support and demand for services and products. Meanwhile, through community interventions, peer educators trained by PSI Caribbean engaged the most at-risk populations by educating them about sexual health. These peer educators followed guidelines to provide referral cards/vouchers for redemption at partner clinics, where clients can access sexual and reproductive health services that include a variety of family planning options. Many have used this opportunity to not only access contraceptive services, but also Pap smears, breast exams, cervical cancer screening, prostate exams, and blood sugar and blood pressure tests.
Through the Make It Stop – GBV Prevention Project in Trinidad and Tobago, PSI Caribbean is seeking to contribute to the reduction of the prevalence of GBV and to ensure the health and safety of women and girls experiencing GBV. The Make it Stop campaign was launched in 2015 and focused on transforming attitudes while working with local partners and community members to effect change at individual, family, community, institutional and societal levels. A key component of the Make it Stop campaign, is the Youth Empowerment Program (YEP), which is a 12-session program designed for young persons between the ages of 14-24 years. The YEP seeks to provide young persons with the knowledge, skills and abilities to develop and sustain healthy familial/ intimate partner relationships.
PSI Caribbean developed the Core brand which aims to address the four main non-communicable diseases (NCDs) that affect the region namely heart disease, cancer, diabetes and chronic respiratory conditions. The Core- Healthy Lifestyles program combines elements of fitness and exercise, with elements of healthy lifestyle that include: healthy/mindful eating; sugar content; food groups; portion distribution and sleep. The program uses a multi-pronged approach to achieve key behavior change among youth, their families, schools, youth groups and other key influencers by reducing the behavioral risk factors associated with NCDs.
The cervical cancer prevention program was developed in response to the high levels of cervical cancer in the region and the significant gaps and challenges that persist in reducing incidence and mortality. Cervical cancer is one of the most preventable and curable forms of cancer, as long as it is detected early and managed effectively. New diagnoses can be reduced in two ways, HPV vaccination and screening of the cervix with follow on treatment of early changes before cancer appears. However, despite the availability of vaccination, screening and preventive treatment, those services are not yet reaching enough girls and women, especially those living in the developing world, where screening and vaccine coverage remain very low. Currently, most women diagnosed with cervical cancer are diagnosed with advanced cancers, where opportunity for cure is small.