August 1, 2022

The City Government of Davao, in partnership with the Department of Health, has intensified its family planning campaign in celebration of the Family Planning Month (FPM), starting with an open-access information drive at the NCCC Mall Buhangin on Monday.

The campaign, with the theme “Bata, Bata, Planado kang Ginawa,” promotes four central principles in family planning— birth spacing, drive to life, informed choice and planned parenthood, said DOH XI Local Health Support Division chief Dr. Raquel Montejo.

Montejo said birth spacing will drastically reduce health risks and complications for mothers by letting their bodies heal within a protracted amount of time before conceiving another child.

Drive to life refers to the efforts currently taken by the department to minimize the rate of maternal and infancy deaths due to complications during child birth.

Jerrielyn Lewis, the acting chief of City Health Office’s Population Division, said the local government is currently bolstering its community-level information drives in celebration of the FPM.

She said because the pandemic has caused the city hospitals to reach their capacity, the CHO is promoting long-term contraception methods that do not require hospital-based procedures.

“Isa sa atong gina-advocate is kadtong mga long-term na protection para sa pagbuntis. SDI or sub-dermal implants, mao na atong ginapaspasan karon in lieu sa atong ligation. Kay atong ligation hospital-based man so kabalo man ta na atong mga hospitals gina-gamit gyud for COVID patients (We are advocating for the long-term contraception methods. In lieu of ligation, we are really promoting SDI or sub-dermal implants. This is because ligation is a hospital-based procedure and as we know our hospitals are being used to care for COVID patients),” Lewis said.

As of January to June of this year, 1, 568 clients had availed of sub-dermal implants from the City Population Office.

Lewis also said men in Davao City are now more amenable to birth-control procedures previously seen as “emasculating.” Lewis said more men avail themselves of the No-Scalpel Vasectomy (NSV)– a procedure that costs over P14,000 in private hospitals which the CHO offers for free every last Friday of the month at the Buhangin District Health Center.

“Ang kaning NSV equivalent ni siya sa ligation sa mga babae. Atong una, naga-offer ta og NSV sa area gyud but since February of this year, naa na ta’y fixed site (The NSV is the male equivalent to ligation. We used to offer the NSV in the communities but since February of this year, we now have a fixed site),” she said.

From January to July, the CHO has catered to over 50 men who underwent the NSV procedure. Lewis said men from other areas like Panabo and Tagum have availed themselves of the NSV.

Lewis added that the city’s constant education and information drives were able to instil behavioural and cultural shift in the communities.

“Napababa nato ang ideal na numero sa miyembro sa pamilya. We recommend at least two children per family for them to be able to provide tapos makafocus sila sa pagpadako. (We reduced the ideal number of family members. We recommend at least two children per family for them to be able to provide and so that they can focus on raising the children),” she said.

“Let us keep in mind that family planning should really be the goal of every couple. Parenthood gives you the responsibility to mold someone into an individual. So family planning should really be the kickoff in the family,” she added.

The CHO called on all couples, both those who plan to start a family and those who do not, to visit the city’s health centers where they can avail of free family planning or birth control consultations. 

Dabawenyos who wish to learn more of the CHO’s family planning services can visit the City Population Office’s Facebook page:  CIO