BEST CARE Davao City reinforces reproductive health program

A man shows a cutout of a symbol of reproductive health and wellness for the family to signify Davao City’s intensified campaign for family planning. JAY RAFAL

The Davao City government is looking to intensify its reproductive health program, particularly on Family Planning to allow Dabawenyos to provide the best care to their children.

Family planning is one of the successful health programs of the city in terms of drawing support from the families. This was even noted by Mayor Inday Sara Duterte, who bared there were more and more females availing of the free services from only 15 in 2016 to 226 in 2018.

Even with its success, the city government through the City Health Office-Population Division continues to be pro-active in implementing and advocating the benefits of family planning.

The most popular family planning method now used by Dabawenyos is Implanon, a new form of birth control that could prevent pregnancy for up to three years.

Jeff Fuentes, the Chief of the CHO-Population Division, said Implanon is just one of the many family planning methods being given for free by the city government to its residents, including Vasectomy and Tubal Ligation, to address the population growth of Davao.

Fuentes said the city continues to provide Implanon as an option for women under the Reproductive Health program.

“Dako kaayo ang nahimong tabang sa Implanon kay kung wala ni masundan dayon ang akoang anak,” said 24-year-old Jenelyn Aguas.
Aguas from Baguio District was one of those who have availed of the free Implanon provided by the city since 2015.

“Implanon is a birth control tool as small as a match stick rod which is easily injected to a woman’s non-dominant arm,” said Dr. Evelyn Buenaventura, the Baguio District Health Officer.

Implanon prevents pregnancy by preventing the release of an egg from the ovary, changing the uterus lining and changing the environment of a woman’s cervix to prevent the sperm from reaching the egg. 

Buenaventura said over 400 women in the city including Indigenous Peoples from Baguio District have benefitted from Implanon.

During her State of the City Address (SOCA) last year, Mayor Inday Sara said the city’s Family Planning program has improved.“Our contraceptive-use prevalence rate has increased from 50.7% in 2016 to 61.3% in 2018,” she said.The city government is also strengthening its family planning advocacy program with the launch of the Pagbabago Project, which aims to educate child-bearing women on the current available birth control methods and how can they access them. One of its components is focused on women’s reproductive health and well-being.

Mayor Inday Sara said the family planning is important because an unplanned number of children will aggravate the status of families already living in poverty.
“The idea there is simple – plan so that each family will only have enough children that the parents could afford sending to school, feeding, and providing with basic needs,” she stressed. CIO