BY MAVIS N PODOKOLO
THE International Planned Parenthood Federation IPPF Sub Regional Office for the Pacific has recognised 23-year-old Amelyn Aitora for voluntarily leading the national covid-19 response in helping communities to respond effectively to the current pandemic.
As the COVID-19 pandemic goes into its third year the lives of women and girls everywhere has been changing rapidly. This has reaped some unexpected benefits in the Solomon Islands where women are routinely excluded from participation in the formal economy due to a reliance on subsistence agriculture and traditional beliefs about women’s roles.
Ms Aitora is a youth volunteer with Solomon Islands Planned Parenthood Association (SIPPA) and is changing the narrative by leading the national covid-19 response.
“One of the good things about this role is that I have received numerous on-job trainings from the Ministry of Health officials and leading our team has allowed me to better understand COVID-19 protocols and the changes made to the protocols based on the prevailing situation,” Amelyn said.
“Working 12-hour shifts is really challenging and exhausting, but we were motivated in the knowledge that we were helping our communities and our country,” she said.
She adds being in a leadership role and dealing directly with the public is no small task
Aitora said one of the frustrating challenges she experienced at the call centre was the regular verbal abuse from people wanting to be tested right away despite them being aware that there was a lack of personnel to carry out testing.