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NEWS UPDATES 7 September 2010

USAID promotes birth control in Philippines

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The Philippine government is implementing a new marketing scheme developed by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to promote birth control to control the runaway population explosion in the people-rich and money-poor Philippines.

The “May Plano Ako (I Have Plans)” program was put together by USAID’s Health Promotion and Communication Project Health (PRO) and endorsed by the Department of Health (DoH) and Health Secretary Enrique Ona, according to Dr. Ivanhoe Escartin, head of the Philippine National Center for Health Promotion (NCHP), Lifesite News reports.

HealthPRO and the National Center for Health Promotion plan to use “strategic communication to enhance family planning and maintain behavior change among targeted market segments in the Philippines.”

Methodology to market contraceptives to the population includes the training of 1,300 nurses and more than 5,000 “village health workers” to promote family planning through “interpersonal communication and counseling on family planning, and maternal and child health.”

“The strategy builds on the understanding that encouraging individuals or couples to use family planning is a process, involving distinct audiences that need different messages and approaches,” the NCHP’s strategy paper titled “Family Planning Behavior Change Communication Strategy” states.

“Information alone is not enough to bring about behavior change among any audience. Instead, the strategy is based on a multilevel, synchronized and holistic marketing approach to family planning,” the document says,

with a focus on “increasing modern contraceptive use through demand generation,” and “repackaging or selling the concept of family planning as a lifestyle that contributes to better quality of life.”

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