In line with the celebration of the International Day of Action for Women’s Health, the City Government of Davao – in partnership with the Philippine Obstetrical and Gynecological Society (POGS) Southern Mindanao Chapter – offered free reproductive health and legal services at Palma Gil Elementary School on May 28, 2018.
The reproductive health services included pre-natal checkup, cervical cancer screening and HIV testing.
Lawyers from the Integrated Gender and Development Division of the City Government also give legal advice and counselling.
POGS president Dr. Sonia Santos encouraged pregnant women, especially teenage mothers, to avail of the free services so they can be aware of the status of their reproductive health this early to prevent possible complications such as cervical cancer.
“In Davao City, 12.8 percent of pregnant mothers are teenagers,” Dr. Santos revealed, adding that each year, the age of women getting pregnant are younger.
Dr. Santos mentioned that the youngest patient that they had diagnosed with cervical cancer was only 16 years old.
POGS Public Relations Officer Dr. Geoffrey Que said that engaging in sexual activities at an early age may cause cervical cancer.
“We want to increase the awareness, especially among the youth, about cervical cancer because there’s a direct correlation between early sexual debut and cervical cancer. A teenager’s reproductive parts have not been fully developed thus, will cause the viruses to progress,” Dr. Que said.
Mutya ng Davao 2018 Shelah Faye Juntilla said that there is already a plan – which will strengthen the government’s campaign against teenage pregnancy – through the conduct of information drive in schools in the three districts of Davao starting July.
“We will be targeting students in Grades 7 and 8 for the information drive,” Juntilla said.
On the community side, IGDD Head Lorna Mandin said that barangay health and population workers are conducting home visitations and house to house orientations all over the city on sex education and family planning and other programs being offered by the government. CIO