COUPLING in the time of Covid-19--sure, but prevent unplanned pregnancies.
In the face of the pandemic, the Commission on Population and Development (Popcom) reminds Filipino couples to practice responsible parenthood and family planning.
According to Popcom, as couples and families are strictly advised to stay home, cooped up together during the enhanced community quarantine, the opportunity also allows for spousal and filial dialogue on top of shared responsibilities at home. However, it also poses challenges on couples to prevent unplanned pregnancies, primarily because of interrupted access to family planning supplies and services.
Undersecretary Juan Antonio Perez III, MD, MPH, Popcom’s executive director, said the agency will continue to advocate for the provision of basic family planning services in local communities as part of the essential services needed by couples and individuals to prevent the longer impact of unintended pregnancies.
“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,” Perez said.
“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.
“We therefore call on couples and individuals to keep in mind family planning as they try to maintain their overall health and well-being inside their respective homes during these trying times.”
The Popcom chief issued the reminder to prevent a boom in pregnancies during the expanded community quarantine. He said that historically, there are spikes in unplanned pregnancies during natural calamities when couples and individuals cohabitate for longer periods.
Popcom plans to continue its work on demand generation on family planning services by reaching out to households and through social media. It will encourage local government units to tap barangay population volunteers initially in the National Capital Region to help educate communities on the coronavirus disease and provide family planning supplies for continuing users of pills and condoms to last for three months.
On Facebook, those who have inquiries may use Messenger of the Usap Tayo sa Family Planning (@UsapTayoSaFP) to talk to family planning officers from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mondays to Fridays./ PR ning (@UsapTayoSaFP) to talk to family planning officers from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mondays to Fridays. (PR)