MANILA (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN): Noting the historical trend that unplanned pregnancies spike during natural calamities, the Commission on Population and Development (Popcom) has urged couples to practise family planning and responsible parenthood even while the enhanced community quarantine is in effect across Luzon due to Covid-19.
According to Popcom, accidental pregnancies should no longer add to the heavy load of health workers who are already grappling to treat patients in this time of Covid-19 pandemic.
“We are uncertain as to when the health emergency caused by Covid-19 will abate. As such, we do not want to add on to the current situation with another possible crisis caused by unplanned pregnancies, as they could bear added weight to our already strained medical institutions, ” Popcom executive director Juan Antonio Perez III said in a statement on March 24.
According to Perez, the number of unplanned pregnancies historically increases during natural calamities “when couples and individuals cohabitate for longer periods.”
He also noted that the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon, which compels over 50 million people to stay inside their homes and shuts malls and other establishments for entertainment purposes, poses challenges to couples because of interrupted access to family planning supplies and services.
“Being a health agency, it is our duty and commitment to the Filipino people to remind them that family planning — especially during situations when persons are asked to stay indoors—should always be accessed and practiced, ” said the Popcom chief.
Thus, Perez said POPCOM will continue to advocate for the provision of basic family services in local communities as part of the essential services needed by couples to avert the longer impact of unintended pregnancies.
He then encouraged local government units to tap barangay population volunteers, initially in Metro Manila, to help educate communities on Covid-19 and provide family planning supplies for “continuing users” of pills and condoms that will last for three months.
Amid the implementation of the quarantine, Popcom said its family wellness clinic at its central office in Barangay Addition Hills in Mandaluyong City will remain open to serve couples and individuals with immediate family planning needs. - Philippine Daily Inquirer/Asia News Network
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