Why is Family Planning Important? [My view as a dad]

May 29, 2024

I share my take on the importance of family planning in this post.

As a dad, it is my responsibility to provide for my children well and I can only do that through proper family planning. Personally, family planning starts from being financially and emotionally ready, in addition to deciding on the number of children that you can raise well depending on your financial and mental capacity. We have to be able to provide for our children’s basic needs and ensure that they are comfortable. We should also be mentally and emotionally ready because raising children is tough and an absolute test of patience. On top of that, we should teach our children the right values in order for them to be good citizens of our society.

Why is Family Planning Important? [My view as a dad]

Why is Family Planning Important? [My view as a dad]

    While I feel sad when I see parents raising children even if they are financially incapable, I still can’t completely blame them because they might not have been given the right knowledge to help them plan for their family well. Aside from that, I think we should start changing the Filipino mindset of using our children as our investment (“yan ang pag-asa natin,” “yan ang magaahon sa atin sa kahirapan,” and “ang anak ko ang kayamanan ko.”).

    That’s why I was happy when I heard the news that DKT Philippines Foundation recently launched the country’s first free family planning mobile clinic. This is a game-changing initiative that is worthy of support. This project is a big step in educating our fellow Filipinos when it comes to family planning and reproductive health.

    Free Family Planning Service on Wheels to Travel Throughout Luzon

    The SODEX (Service Outreach and Distribution Extension Program) Mobile Clinic, the first-ever mobile Family Planning (FP) ambulatory clinic in the country, was recently launched by DKT Philippines Foundation and funded by TRUST Reproductive Health Choices, to bring safe and quality FP products and services to Filipinos. 

    The SODEX Mobile Clinic of DKT Philippines Foundation.
    The SODEX Mobile Clinic of DKT Philippines Foundation.

    The mobile clinic will travel around Luzon this year to accommodate up to 3,000 beneficiaries who need permanent methods of contraception and another 3,570 who will avail of temporary methods.

    Bridging the gap

    Hospitals in the Philippines have high occupancy rates and the bed to population ratio is 1:1000 population. But the WHO (World Health Organization) standard is 3:1000 population.

    The National Demographic Health Survey (NDHS) of 2022 revealed that 49 percent of women of reproductive age want no more children, which warrants access to a modern family planning method.

    To make reproductive health services accessible, the SODEX Mobile Clinic will provide free modern family planning commodities and ambulatory services catering to the specific needs of every Filipino that are not often offered in local hospitals.

    Clients who want to space and limit pregnancy will receive free FP commodities like pills, condoms, injectables and IUD after consultation. While for those who are already content with the number of children they have, they can avail themselves of bilateral tubal ligation or non-scalpel vasectomy using local anesthesia for free.

    All clients will first undergo screening and counseling to assess their mental and physical fitness and ensure they freely choose their preferred method of contraception.

    They are also assured that a follow-through mechanism with clients is in place. “The clients will be endorsed to our partner health care providers in the LGUs for follow-up. Our outreach team will maintain open communication with the midwives and volunteers in case post-procedure concerns arise,” shared Loida Almendares, Director of Programs of DKT Philippines Foundation.

    The SODEX Mobile Clinic is part of the overall SODEX Program, which is being overseen by the assigned program manager of DKT Philippines Foundation.

    The mobile clinic will be manned by a team of experts trained in Family Planning procedures and basic life support and managing health emergencies. The team will be led by Dr. Luis Garcia, Jr., who specializes in voluntary surgical contraception and has two decades of experience under his belt. He will be assisted by three nurses, a midwife, and a driver.

    Partnership with LGUs

    DKT Philippines Foundation partnered with select Local Government Units (LGUs) to organize the SODEX Program Partner’s Network for Family Planning, which is aligned with the mandate of the universal health law.

    The SODEX Program Partner’s Network for Family Planning promotes collaboration among various sectors to collectively develop and implement mechanisms to improve the health of women, children and families, and meaningfully participate and contribute to government efforts to achieve universal health coverage for Reproductive Health through the provision of continuous good quality family planning education, services, commodities, funding, and policy support.

    The LGUs’ role is to mobilize local health and population network/structure to determine individuals and couples needing family planning services. A partner LGU will lead the coordination with a hospital in the community as the referral facility or host facility.

    With glaring challenges in terms of family planning service provisions due to availability, geographic accessibility, or acceptability of services, DKT Philippines Foundation’s SODEX Program is laying the groundwork for empowering Reproductive Health choices for Filipinos.

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