The Commission on Population and Development (PopCom) launched on Wednesday a radio program and a helpline to ensure couples and individuals are well-informed on family planning (FP) services and adolescent health and development (AHD) amid movement restrictions due to the health crisis.
The radio program, to be aired in the Eastern Visayas’ six provinces and through social media, is eyeing to reach out to some 30,000 couples. Listeners will be provided with referral services of desired FP methods through population officers in villages.
Reyan Arinto, chief of PopCom’s regional technical services units, said although the radio programs could reach all audiences, specific couples would be identified in every target village to ensure there are target listeners in every programming.
“Just like regular responsible parenthood and family planning (RPFP) classes held before the community quarantine, the radio program will provide its listening couples, women of reproductive age, and other individuals with information on FP, methods and available services within the community, and other related sexual and reproductive health concerns through radio,” Arinto told reporters during the launch at the Ritz Tower here.
The population commission will also take advantage of airwaves to disseminate accurate information related to the government’s battle against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
The month-long radio programs will kick off next week.
The mode was seen as an alternative way to inform couples and individuals with the prohibition of large gatherings due to the pandemic.
Meanwhile, PopCom also launched its helpline for the public to access information related to FP and AHD through calls and texts.
“The helpline will support the public or community health centers and health service providers to ensure a continuous supply of family planning information and services, especially among those who need them most,” said Melanie Alberto, PopCom 8 (Eastern Visayas) assistant director.
Adolescent health and development information will also be made available through the helpline to ensure that adolescents and youths would have access to quality comprehensive health care and services.
Alberto said the regional office earlier trained a pool of helpline responders to answer calls and respond to text messages.
In the region, hotline numbers are 0916-441-2693, 0956-299-1052, 0951-365-5984, 0951-365-5998, and 0920-505-5043.
The helpline is being established and operationalized in all regions in the country.
The agency has been expressing concern that the stay-at-home policies by the national and local governments might lead to unplanned pregnancies. (PNA)
Photo Source: PNA/Lizbeth Ann Abella