MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM) plans to release helpful guidelines to ensure unhampered execution of other health-related programs of the government amid the imposed enhanced community quarantine.
According to POPCOM, programs on family planning and reproductive health must be implemented side by side to avert population growth at this time of health crisis.
Economic and Development Undersecretary and POPCOm Executive Director Juan Antonio Perez III explained that increase in population is highly possible during lockdown as couples are expected to spend most of their time with each other and their families.
Records show that during the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda in 2013, a significant growth in population was noted in Eastern Samar as residents remained in evacuation centers.
“Kung hindi tayo magpatuloy ng programa natin sa family planning, dadami ang bilang ng mga unplanned pregnancy, (If we stop our programs on family planning, the rate of unplanned pregnancy will grow),” Preze explained.
“Mabu-burden pa rin uli ang ating health system ng biglang paglaki, (Sudden increase in population will further burden our health system),” he added.
The official also noted the possible emergence of diseases especially in urban poor areas due to congestion. For this reason, he suggested that barangay health workers should do regular monitoring.
“Katulad ng tuberculosis, HIV, mga RH related na diseases, ang mga sakit ng mga matatanda dahil nahihiya sila o natatakot lumabas ng bahay, iniinda na lang nila sa bahay ang sakit (Conditions like tuberculosis, HIV, other reproductive health-related diseases, disease associated with old age, patients are perhaps embarrassed of their condition or worried of going out so they just keep it to themselves),” Perez said.
The official said it is important that during this time, provinces must prepare and equip their health facilities and health care workers ahead of potential increase in cases of COVID-19 in their respective localities. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)
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