TACLOBAN CITY-More than 500,000 condoms and pills remain undistributed by the Commission on Population and Development (Popcom) here in the region due to the quarantine.
This was disclosed by Elnora Pulma, Popcom regional director, who said that these commodities need to be distributed as this could impact on their family planning program and services.
It was learned that due to the quarantine, which restricts their movements, the Popcom in the region has still 500,000 pills and 77,600 condoms that need to be distributed to their ‘acceptors’ or those who have availed of their family planning program or services.
Pulma said that they are alarmed that if these commodities would not be distributed, this could not only lead to what they described as ‘unplanned pregnancies’ but would also result to the decline on the number of their acceptors.
As of May of this year, there are 1,751 acceptors of pills, injectables, and condoms across the region.
Due to the quarantine, which took effect March of this year and said to be in effect until July 15 of this year, Popcom is projecting an increase of pregnancies and births.
Eastern Visayas has more than 4.4 million population with a birth rate of 1.9 percent.
In Leyte alone, 36,000 new babies are expected this year, Dr. Edgardo Daya, chief of Leyte Provincial Hospital.
Pulma said that they hope that the quarantine would be lifted soon so they could start the distribution of these commodities to various hospitals and rural health centers as well as private clinics.
She added that at least in the case in Leyte, they can distribute these items through the assistance of the Provincial Health Office and through a ‘border-to-border’ distribution, of each town or city in the province.
Popcom has earlier distributed to Leyte at least 90,000 of condoms.
“We have tried to ask the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) to allow us to distribute these commodities to our acceptors but our request was turned down considering that there is a spike of COVID-19 cases here in our region,” Pulma said during a press conference on Thursday marking this week’s World Population Day to be held on July 11.
OCD is part of the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force on COVID-19.
Eastern Visayas was tagged by the Department of Health earlier as an ‘emerging COVID-19 hot spot’ due to its increasing number of coronavirus disease 2019. At present it has 611 COVID-19 cases with three deaths.