DAVAO CITY – In partnership with the Department of Health in Davao Region (DOH-11), the city government has intensified its family planning drive to minimize the rate of maternal and infant mortality due to childbirth complications.

Dr. Raquel Montejo, DOH-11 local health support division chief, said the campaign aims to promote four central principles in family planning— birth spacing, drive to life, informed choice, and planned parenthood.

“Birth spacing will drastically reduce health risks and complications for mothers by letting their bodies heal within a protracted amount of time before conceiving another child,” Montejo said in a statement Tuesday.

Jerrielyn Lewis, acting chief of the City Health Office’s (CHO) Population Division, said the local government's community-level information drives aim to advocate long-term contraception methods like SDI or sub-dermal implants.

“This is because ligation is a hospital-based procedure and as we know our hospitals are being used to care for coronavirus disease 2019 patients,” Lewis said.

From January to June of this year, 1,568 clients availed of sub-dermal implants from the city population office.

Lewis also noted that men in Davao City are now more amenable to birth-control procedures previously seen as “emasculating.”

She said more men avail themselves of the No-Scalpel Vasectomy (NSV), a procedure that costs over PHP14,000 in private hospitals which the CHO offers for free every last Friday of the month.

“The NSV is the male equivalent to ligation. We used to offer the NSV in the communities but since February of this year, we now have a fixed site,” Lewis said.

From January to July, the CHO has catered to over 50 men who underwent the NSV procedure.

“We reduced the ideal number of family members. We recommend at least two children per family for them to be able to provide and so that they can focus on raising the children,” Lewis said.

The CHO urged couples to visit the city’s health centers where they can avail themselves of free family planning or birth control consultations. (PNA)