FriendlyCare celebrates Family Planning Month with a Family Planning Happy Fiesta

FriendlyCare celebrates Family Planning Month with a Family Planning Happy Fiesta

It was busier than usual on Thursday, August 20, 2015 as FriendlyCare held its very own Family Planning Happy Fiesta. The clinic was adorned with white and purple balloons while the FriendlyCare team was dressed in various shades of violet. Flyers were being handed out outside the clinic while a motorcade went around the streets to spread the word on FriendlyCare’s Family Planning Happy Fiesta. Inside the clinic, videos on family planning were also being shown on the screens for the visitors and the rest of the patients to watch.

Doctors and nurses eagerly attended to the many patients who came to avail the free family planning services. Many of the patients were mothers who even brought their children with them, and the team was more than happy to care for the adorable children as they went through the procedure. They were first briefed on reproductive health and were introduced to the Implant, one of the temporary contraceptive methods FriendlyCare provides. The patients then had one-on-one sessions with our family planning counsellors for a thorough review and to further inform them of their choices. This ensures that the patients acquire the necessary information to make an informed choice on the method that best suits their family planning needs. The patients were then asked one by one to move into a ward where the procedure would be done.

A FriendlyCare nurse gives her lecture to an attentive crowd

A FriendlyCare nurse gives her lecture to an attentive crowd

Officers and nurses from FriendlyCare’s Cebu and Davao clinics were also present, and they immersed themselves in the whole process to fully experience how the clinic provides its family planning services. They observed how the lecture and family planning counselling was being conducted, as well as the insertion itself. All were especially keen during the first insertion of the implant as all eyes were on Dr. Anna Ruaro and the first patient. Despite being flooded with attention from the many observers, the patient remained composed and felt at ease surrounded by bubbly and friendly doctors and nurses. Dr. Anna walked us through the demonstration as she carefully explained every detail of the insertion process to the nurses in training, and the key things that patients had to take note of with regards to implants.

The whole process itself does not take long. After the doctor or trained nurse marks the area in which the implant would be inserted, betadine would be applied for sterilization. A local anesthesia is given to numb the area, and after a few minutes the trained doctor or nurse would proceed to insert the implant. The patient is made to touch the implant under the skin of the inner part of the upper arm to assure her that the procedure was successful and so that she is aware of its location. The doctor or nurse puts a dressing on it to keep it clean and dry while the patient is told to follow the 1-3-7 rule: the insertion area should be left alone and kept dry for 1 day, the dressing can be removed and betadine can be applied 3 days after the insertion, and there should be no contact (i.e. no sexual intercourse) within the first 7 days after insertion as it takes a week for the implant to take effect.

Dr. Anna Ruaro talks the patient through the process

Dr. Anna Ruaro talks the patient through the process

The implant is a very effective contraceptive that lasts up to three years, after which the implant is then removed by a trained doctor or nurse. It works by preventing ovulation and thickening the mucus in the cervix, thus making it difficult for the sperm to meet an egg. Moreover, contrary to what the first patient heard from her neighbours, implants do not cause cancer. It is a safe contraceptive method that is easy to use, long-acting, and reversible.

Although majority of the patients opted for the implant, other family planning methods, both permanent and temporary, are also being offered. An additional free BTL service will also be available on the next Family Planning Happy Fiesta on the 26th of August. Of course, family planning should not stop when Family Planning Month ends. As a recognized family planning services provider, FriendlyCare will continue to raise awareness on the importance of family planning and the various family planning methods available. Patients are more than welcome to avail our family planning services, or simply visit for a session with our family planning counsellors to ask questions and clarify their doubts. Make family planning a priority. A healthy family is a happy family. Happy Fiesta!