Accompanied by their husbands, thirty (30) Muslim women availed of family planning services and became new acceptors of the Progestin-Only Subdermal Implant (PSI) commonly known as Implanon during the Outreach Program of the Commission on Population and Development Region 10 last February 26-28, 2019 in Sultan Naga Dimaporo, Sapad and Magsaysay in Lanao del Norte.
The 30 Muslim women were among the one hundred four (104) women who received FP services during the three-day outreach program. The program was conducted to respond to the demand for FP services among married couples. One of the father with nine children said that he cannot afford to have another child and he himself has encouraged his wife to avail of the FP service provided by POPCOM and Lanao del Norte. “This is of some kind of a milestone in getting our Muslim brothers and sisters in the program. For the past years, reproductive health and family planning is not so much popular and considered taboo by many of the Muslim community but this time it is the husbands themselves who are encouraging their wives to practice family planning”, POPCOM Regional Director Jeremias C. Gupit said.
Implanon is a type of family planning method which uses a small, match-like material inserted in the upper, less dominant arm of the woman. The implant contains 68 mg of the active substance called etonogestrel which is a synthetic female hormone resembling progesterone. It works by continuously releasing a small amount of the hormone etonogestrel into the bloodstream. The rod is made of ethylene vinylacetate copolymer a kind of plastic that will not dissolve in the body. It prevents the release of an egg cell from the ovaries (ovulation) and causes the cervical mucus to become thick that makes it difficult for sperm to enter the womb. As a result, it protects the woman against pregnancy for a period of three years.
To note, of all the regions in the country, it is only POPCOM 10 which has been for a year providing direct family planning services this time for Progestin-Only Subdermal Implant insertion as a result of the specialized training for its nurses courtesy by the DOH-X and USAID.
With POPCOM reverted back to NEDA, its mandate has expanded and was tasked to strengthen the integration of population and development in increasing the country’s potential economic growth. POPCOM Director Gupit said that to enable the country to experience accelerated economic growth there is a need to lower the fertility of women by reducing unplanned pregnancies and enable them to have their desired number, timing and spacing of children within the context of Responsible Parenthood and Informed Choice and Voluntarism. Intensifying FP outreach program ensures couples and individuals have access on the needed information and services that can help them plan their families.
The activity was done in collaboration with the Provincial Government of Lanao del Norte through its Governor, Honorable Imelda Q. Dimaporo, the Provincial Population Office of Lanao del Norte headed by Ms. Ananette B. Daniel and the Rural Health Units of Sultan Naga Dimaporo, Sapad and Magsaysay.