MANILA, Philippines – “I want to be a scientist…” says Laura Jane Duran. Like most 15-year-olds, Duran dreams about what she would like to be when she grows up.
But Duran had to stop schooling when she got pregnant last year. Now, she lives with her husband, Jason, and his family in a shanty in Baseco, Tondo, Manila.
“I don’t know if I can still go back to school,” she says.
According to the National Demographic and Health Survey of 2008, in the Philippines, 10% of girls like Duran who are between the ages of 15-19, become pregnant with their first child.
Teen pregnancy rate is 53 births per 1,000 women between the ages of 15-19, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) says in its 2011 annual report.
The Philippines has the highest rate of teenage pregnancies among its neighbors and is well above the Asia Pacific average of 34 births per 1,000 women between the ages of 15-19.
Read the blog “Manila relaxes rules on birth control” by Ana P. Santos
In every country, there are lots of social issues. The Philippines is no exception. Over population has been a major issue here for many years. It is a heavy burden on the economy of the Philippines and this heavy burden needs to be addressed in a positive way.
Not by saying “I like children and I want lots of them”, but by saying “ How can I be a responsible parent and how many children can I sufficiently support to give them a good chance in life?”
The Ligaya Foundation is committed to support Filipino couples who desire to be responsible parents by limiting their children so that they will be able not only to sufficiently support them but to spend quality time with them.
Our goal: is to lessen the birth rate among mothers (with at least 2-3 children) susceptible for pregnancy in selected barangays in the Philippines with the use of Intra-uterine device and Bilateral tubal ligation.
Planning Phase: short term contraceptives
- Identification of Area and health workers
- Courtesy call with the area officials
- Conduction of health teachings in the health center . The patients going to the health center can listen to the health lectures by the health workers while waiting for their turn to consult the doctor.
- The supplies such as condoms and pills may be distributed while have the lectures.
- The health workers announce the upcoming seminar to be held in some place at the barangay and the house to house visit as well.
- Implementation together with foundation’s personnel to monitor if the supplies are being delivered accordingly.
- Building a small seminar regarding contraceptives
- Brochures will be delivered all over the barangay that would serve as invitation for the upcoming seminar. The barangay chairman also verbally enunciates the invitation with the use of megaphone while roaming around the barangay.
- Foods or can goods can be offered during the seminar as this would attract people to participate.
- During the seminar, we could start distributing the contraceptive to those who will attend. and the next day will be the house-house visitation to disseminate the rest.
- A waiver will be then signed by the participant who will choose the injectable . This serves as the health worker’s protection in case adverse reactions from the medicine occur.
- The persons from the foundation will then monitor the inventory of the supplies since they are also with the health workers in the barangay.
- The charge person from the foundation will then make a report
After several times of successful implementation, the foundation aims to implement the next program for a long term effect.
Planning phase: long term contraceptives
Phase 1: Identification of the trusted person in the Philippines,
specifically, in Sampaloc Manila. A trusted person sourced via the network of Mrs. Janeth Cantos, who will be the contact in the Philippines. This person must be dedicated and really willing to help his/her countrymen, specifically with regards to the achievement of the established goal by the foundation and do this on a voluntary basis.
Phase 2: Identification of the health professionals involved in the activity. This will include a licensed obstetric gynecologist who is an uncle of Mrs Janeth Cantos who already works in this field and so can provide our foundation with all that is necessary to achieve our goals and on a voluntary basis. The foundation will only have to pay for equipment and materials. Like the trusted person, these professionals should have the so called “calling” or should have the desire and eagerness to help others. The foundation believes it is their enthusiasm that drives them towards the achievement of the goal.
Phase 3: Identification of the target barangays.
Poverty and huge number of population should be present in each barangay. Based on the established goal, the foundation aims to help the continuously overflowing population in the Philippines.
Phase 4: Building the core group.
A core group is a group of people representing their respective areas in the barangay. This also includes asking for their permission regarding the activity. This will help achieve the cooperation of each barangay captain that would also help attain the mothers’ cooperation. This phase is a good opportunity to ask for security from each barangay upon immersion. The professionals will be dealing with depressed areas so firmed security is of great help.
Phase 5: Materials and budget identification.
Since the doctor knows everything regarding the procedure, he/she will identify the materials needed. The money coming from the Netherlands will be sent to Ligaya Foundation and upon a written request coming from the doctor, the money will be issued by Ligaya Foundation after approving it. Total budget will depend on materials needed and other expenses that will be identified in the future.
There will always be a courtesy call with the barangay officials before starting the activity.
Information about the program will be disseminated to the mothers by the barangay chairman.
Identification of a place where the mothers will be gathered. Here, nurses will do some medical procedures such as taking their blood pressure and giving some vitamins. Also, giving of canned good or a bag of rice can be done as it catches the mothers’ attraction to join the activity.
After the discussion, those mothers who are willing to undergo the IUD and BTL will fill a waiver under their signature. This protects the health professionals involved from some unexpected liabilities. The nurses will then schedule them for the procedure and will be brought to the hospital or clinic on their scheduled date.