Where To Have Sex In A Shelter? – Bahamas Officials Face New Post Dorian Challenge

BAHAMAS-SHELTER
People shelterING inside a church after surviving Hurricane Dorian on September 5, 2019, in Marsh Harbor, Great Abaco, Bahamas. (Photo credit: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
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By NAN STAFF WRITER

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Weds. Oct. 30, 2019:  Here’s one post-hurricane challenge you may never consider – lack of “identified spaces dedicated to accommodate consensual coitus among shelter inhabitants.”

It’s no joke. It is in fact one of several Sexual And Reproductive Health (SRH) problems identified by the Bahamas’ Ministry of Health, (MOH), in its latest situation report in the post Hurricane Dorian era. An earlier MOH report also outlined similar concerns expressed by the United Nations Population Fund on Gender Based Violence (UNFPA GBV), regarding the access to SRH services by those in shelters.

The problem has been identified in New Providence, Nassau, Bahamas, where there are some 796 people living in six shelters according to the Bahamas National Emergency Management Agency.

The ministry also said lack of access to condoms is also an issue, which could lead to the risk of “unwanted pregnancy.” The report noted that while 60 boxes of condoms were dispersed at all shelter sites, safe sexual spaces have still not been identified.

“…The importance of STI service provision, including treatment, was recognized as people are sexually active even during the emergencies,” UNFPA added. “The need for informing shelter managers was stressed that despite personal opinions and preferences, the need to ensure private and safe sexual activity is happening for the respect of the entire shelter population and protection/ safeguarding/ no access for the children.”

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