- By Seshma Bissesar -

The family planning organization of Suriname, formerly known as Lobi Foundation will be called Lobi Health Center from now on. The new name was launched yesterday in connection with the 50th anniversary of the organization. This historic moment is celebrated in Torarica where director Nensy Bandhoe also immediately presented the new slogan of the foundation: Libi wan gosontu lobi libi. Previously that was libi wan verantwortu lobi libi.

During the speeches, Nensy Bandhoe, director of the foundation, Julia Terborg of the foundation's board and Anand Jagesar, chairman of the Advisory Council, discussed the growth of the organization over the past 50 years. Jagesar emphasized that the foundation has always sustained itself, without government support. "It started a bit as simply preventing teenage pregnancies to the promotion of women’s and girl’s rights to becoming the initiator of HIV prevention in the 80s. The foundation took on the role of pioneer by initiating a campaign, to purchase medication ", Jagesar recounted the achievements of the foundation.

Despite the positive developments, there are also challenges that need to be overcome. One of these challenges is to involve the community more closely in the delivery of services, said Bandhoe. "My experience of the past few years tells me that people do not know exactly what it is that we are doing. It is therefore high time that we come even more to the front and promote our services. It's time for something new ", says Bandhoe as she moved on to unveil the new logo. With the diverse range of services, the organization can rightly call itself a well-developed public health organization, says Bandhoe proudly. "We are here for society. We are here to keep our citizens healthy, so that they can contribute to their own development and the development of the country ".

The services of the foundation remain indispensable for the community, Terborg said during her speech. Unintended teenage pregnancies, sexual abuse and the related lifelong traumas, HIV and STD infections, complications due to abortions, stigma and discrimination against minority groups remain issues that seriously impede the optimal participation of women and men in the development of the country, according to Terborg.

The Foundation has been committed to cancer prevention and early detection for more than thirty years. This includes cervical cancer prevention screening, breast examination and prostate examination. The foundation also focuses on the expansion of its services aimed at sexually transmitted diseases. In addition to HIV testing, gonorrhea and chlamydia tests are also offered. The education and training department has also transitioned from providing simple education to more in-depth education and training aimed at developing the capacity of young people towards critical thinking and making them more resilient. At the end of the formal part of the celebration, the director introduced the new website of the Lobi Foundation Health Center, www.lobisuriname.org, with the push of a button.

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