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The Health Promotion Bureau of the Ministry of Health in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Sri Lanka recently launched the ‘Happy Family’ communication package in Colombo, which contained over 50 videos designed as training modules for healthcare providers.

The videos contain interactive virtual training modules consisting of exercises, role plays, case studies, etc, which explore challenges faced within relationships and how communication can help overcome these challenges, leading to a happy family.  

As a priority area mentioned in the Vistas of Splendor and Prosperity, the Happy family package is ultimately a series of materials aimed to provide information to enjoy a peaceful, healthy, and active life which is violence-free for all, and free of preventable illnesses, especially youth and women. The videos also address myths and misconceptions around gender-based violence, alcohol use, maternal and child health, women’s health, family planning, menstruation and nutritional habits.

Speaking at the launch, Hon. State Minister of Primary Health Services, Pandemics and COVID Prevention, Dr Sudarshani Fernandopulle acknowledged that these are all crucial issues to address, saying “amidst the ongoing pandemic it is great to see this being prioritized as it affects people with all walks of life. The role of the media is particularly important to disseminate accurate information whilst taking this message forward.”

Meanwhile Representative of UNFPA in Sri Lanka, Ms. Ritsu Nacken stated, “This year has been a challenging one for all of us as COVID-19 is not only a public health pandemic but has also caused socio-economic impacts, exacerbating existing inequalities and compounding vulnerabilities. UNFPA is pleased to have supported the development of this video package, which addresses a wide range of issues from gender-based violence to reproductive cancer and nutrition because this kind of innovative initiative is required to address the last-mile challenges to leave no one behind.”

Eliminating gender-based violence and preventable maternal deaths are important steps as Sri Lanka works towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and meeting its commitments made to the International Conference on Population and Development Programme of Action.