U.S. Leads Team Effort to Renovate Women’s Health Clinic in Akhaltsikhe
Representatives of the Civil Military Support Element from the Office of Defense Cooperation at U.S. Embassy-Tbilisi, along with volunteers with the Peace Corps’ Let Girls Learn (LGL) program, and others, recently attended the reopening ceremony of the Democratic Women’s Organization (DWO) Health Clinic in Akhaltsikhe, Georgia. The event commemorated the reopening of the clinic after an extensive renovation of the facility and the installation of new diagnostic equipment. An LGL grant funded the renovation.
The renovation is expected to help the DWO increase the clinic’s capacity to provide health services to women and girls; advance girl’s and women’s knowledge about reproductive health, contraception and rights; and provide training to empower women and girls to become active promoters of gender equality in Samtskhe-Javakheti.
The health clinic is the only facility in Samtskhe-Javakheti region, aside from the local hospitals, that provides a range of confidential gynecological services to women. The renovation was part of a three-part plan by DWO to increase the clinic’s range of health services to women.
The first phase of the project was procuring a grant of modern medical equipment from the Japanese Embassy.
The second phase was seeking and obtaining a grant from the U.S.-based NGO, Spirit of America, to cover the cost of materials to renovate the facility to meet the structural needs of operating the new equipment. This grant was facilitated through the efforts of the Office of Defense Cooperation Civil-Military Support Element, who connected DWO with Spirit of America representatives.
Additionally, the Georgian Armed Forces provided laborers and electricians to ensure that the renovation was complete and the facility was fully operational and ready to serve members of the community.
DWO is now the only health provider in the region offering a full range of free gynecological health services for women, including checkups, diagnosis, and treatment for precancerous cervical problems. Further, the organization will revamp its gender equality training with programming designed to speak directly to girls about health issues and decisions facing them now, and as they mature.