The importance of family planning (FP) in achieving Universal Health Care (UHC) was highlighted in the 2022 International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP) held in Pattaya City, Thailand from November 14 to 17, 2022.
At the said event, the Zuellig Family Foundation (ZFF) presented its leadership course on Minimum Initial Service Package for Sexual and Reproductive Health (MISP for SRH). A partnership with the United Nations Population Fund and funded by Australian Aid, the training course strengthened the competencies of provincial leaders to implement life-saving SRH information and services, including FP, during natural disasters and other public health emergencies.
While the MISP for SRH is provided for in the Magna Carta of Women (RA 9710) and the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Law (RA 10354), it is not yet widely implemented. Under ZFF’s pilot program, the provinces of Catanduanes, Laguna, and Maguindanao have crafted integrated MISP for SRH implementation plans as envisioned by the abovementioned laws.
Platform, movement, community
Sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health, the ICFP has been a strategic platform, movement, and community for countries, organizations, and individuals to make important commitments and celebrate innovations toward achieving FP access for all.
ZFF also shared lessons from the implementation of The Challenge Initiative (TCI), a partnership with the Gates Institute aimed at reducing teenage pregnancies. ZFF discussed how TCI used the Urban Health Equity Assessment and Response Tool1 for increased and targeted financing of adolescent sexual and reproductive health (ASRH) and FP delivery services. Using the Equity Matrix, Cagayan de Oro City (CDO) was able to bring down the adolescent birth rate to 35 in 2021 from 43 in 2020, and increase the modern contraceptive prevalence rate to 35 from 29 in the same period.
ZFF had two poster presentations on developing youth leaders to prevent adolescent pregnancies, and on building partnerships to scale up the implementation of the Philippine Population Development Plan in cities.
ICFP also conferred on the Zuellig family the 2022 Global Humanitarian Awards for Women’s and Children’s Health in recognition of the family’s investments in maternal and child health, nutrition, and reproductive health through ZFF. Men Form Zuellig, a ZFF trustee, received the award on behalf of Daniel and David Zuellig.
Meanwhile, Dipolog City Mayor Darrel Uy received the local champion award from TCI for “going above and beyond” in the city’s implementation of the program–investing $73,000 for 2023 (from $20,000 in 2021). Dr. Rachel D. Dilla, City Health Officer III of CDO, received the same award for mobilizing the city’s information and service delivery network.
1 An equity matrix using Urban HEART helps assess indicators of health outcomes and health determinants and identify health inequities in a specific city.
(Published December 19, 2022)