Contraceptives to Yolanda (Haiyan) victims?
MANILA, Philippines – With thousands of babies expected to be born in the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), a former legislator tells the Department of Health (DOH) to address the contraceptive needs of those displaced.
In making the appeal, Former Rep Edcel Lagman said on Saturday, November 16, that the number of pregnancies would have been lower had the Reproductive Health (RH) law – which he co-authored – been implemented.
He added that, under the law's implementing rules and regulations, the DOH and local government units are to provide RH kits in calamIty situations.
"The unprecedented disaster caused by Yolanda constitutes definitely a 'vulnerable and crisis situation,'" Lagman said.
“Temporary facilities such as evacuation centers and refugee camps shall be equipped to respond to the special needs of the following situations: normal and complicated deliveries, pregnancy complications, spread of HIV and STIs, and gender-based violence," he added.
Medical teams from overseas, however, were a step ahead of Lagman. The Australian government, through its team deployed in affected areas in the Visayan region, intended to distributed RH and hygiene kits through the UNFPA to respond to specific needs of pregnant and lactating women in evacuation centers.
Although passed in a historic move by the Philippine Congress, the RH law is yet to be enforced pending hearings in the Supreme Court. The High Court issued a status quo ante order, following petitions claiming the law is unconstitutional.
The World Health Organization pegged the number of babies to be born by December 2013 in the provinces affected by the typhoon at 12,000.
Yolanda unleashed its fury a week ago, on November 8, washing away homes with storm surges as high as 7 feet and causing deaths in the thousands. – Rappler.com