COVID-19 gives birth to Taupo’s ‘contraception hub’
16/04/2020 8:12:18 a.m.

Thursday 16 April 2020

COVID-19 gives birth to Taupo’s ‘contraception hub’

Anamata in Taupo has set up a "contraception hub" to provide contraception and sexual health services for the community in response to COVID-19, aiming to help take the pressure off GPs.

Chief Executive Annabel Prescott says Anamata is a youth one-stop shop service that has been providing specialist sexual health services in Taupo for 30 years.  


Anamata nurses Andrea Muir (RN) Maree Ginger (clinical lead) Sue Van Mierlo (nurse practitioner)

The service was quick to respond to the need for different models of delivering health services due to the COVID-19 and lockdown situation and saw this as a way they could support GPs and their Taupo community.

"The silver lining of the COVID-19 situation is that the Taupo community has rallied together to find ways we can support each other. We thought this is one way we can take the load off GPs and they were absolutely happy with that."

They have set up an 0800 Anamata (262 62820) number and anyone of any age in Taupo needing contraceptive and sexual health services can ring in. GPs are also redirecting their patients to the Anamata "contraceptive hub".

Three nurses at the clinic take the calls, take a history and assess clinical needs all via the phone. The service also delivers the contraceptives in the Taupo area on a daily basis to save people having to move out of their bubble.

The nurses do an assessment over the phone and if there needs to be a face to face appointment, that's possible too. The three nurse work in their own bubble from the Heuheu st clinic.

All appointments are booked to manage the number of people coming in and they are staggered so only one client at a time attends. People are also asked to sanitise their hands and the nurses wear appropriate PPE.

On Fridays another nurse does it to give the three nurses a break and ensure staff wellbeing is being prioritised.

Anamata's team of 14 with a combination of youth workers and nurses and a doctor, are now all working offsite on other projects. The service is in the process of setting up virtual counselling which anyone can ring if they need support.

Anamata's usual model is a drop in service, however, Annabel says in the context of a pandemic and lockdown they had to put in a different process.

She says the service sees in excess of 6000 young people a year aged 12 to 25 years. The youth development programme is a big part of the work, in particular with the rainbow community including developing policies making it a safe place, she says. These groups are continuing to be run virtually to ensure young people have access to on-going to support from their peers and also from Anamata.