‘Women’s unmet needs due to lack of information’

THE COMMISSION of Population (PopCom)-6 said the lack of correct information is one factor why women, particularly those in far-flung areas, have unmet needs.

PopCom-6 Regional Director Harold Alfred P. Marshall said unmet needs are services that women would want to avail in order to space, limit, or stop pregnancy but cannot because of various factors.

He said that lack of accurate information along with poor access, fear of side effects, husband or partner’s objection are factors that hinder women to meet the reproductive needs for modern family planning.

He also said that Western Visayas is among the three regions in the country with high total fertility rate (TFR) of 3.8 against the national average of 3.0 according to the 2013 National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS).

“The high TFR of the region may be closely linked to the high number of unmet needs for modern family planning at 20 percent based on the National Demographic and Health Survey 2013,” he said.

Total fertility rate is the average number of children that would be born alive to a woman during her lifetime if she were to pass through all her childbearing years conforming to the age-specific fertility rates of a given year.

This means that every woman in the region has an average of three to four children – one or more children than what they desire of 2.4 children.

“This high TFR requires quality reproductive health services for women, children, adolescents, and Filipino families in general,” he said.

PopCom-6 is currently doing advocacy activities on responsible parenthood and family planning through the Local Population Offices and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) counterparts.

For 2016, PopCom-6 has reached 77,352 couples through Family Development Sessions, UsapanSeryes, and Pre-Marriage Counseling.

These couples were then referred to health facilities for family planning (FP) services that resulted to 18,641 new FP acceptors. (PIA-Iloilo)

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