Davao health office continues subdermal implants

THE Davao City Health Office (CHO) said the procedure on subdermal implanon insertion for women is still being done in the city despite the Supreme Court (SC)'s decision to suspend its distribution by the Department of Health (DOH) last 2015.

CHO Population division head Jeff Fuentes, during the I-Speak media forum Thursday, September 14, at the Davao City Engineering's Office, said the city has to continue its implanon procedures for free to aid those mothers who are in need of birth control.

Fuentes said CHO still has over 5,000 stored implanons sourced from the private sector to support the government's birth control program.

"While the national government still does not find it appropriate to distribute the implanons, the city has to find a way to sustain it," he said.

The insertions of implanons in the city, Fuentes said, are being focused on far-flung areas such as Bunawan, Calinan, Marilog District, and Paquibato District.

CHO is responsible for the deployment of health officers who will perform the insertion in different barangay health offices.

"The challenge is not on the number of supply we have left but the accessibility of our people for availing this so we have to work on thoroughly in bringing this to health centers," Fuentes said.

In a recent interview with Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Ubial, she said DOH is still positive that SC will soon lift the existing temporary restraining order on the distribution of the implanons as the Food and Drugs Administration drafted guidelines last August and will be presented to stakeholders anytime this month.

"DOH imported about P450 million worth of the subdermal implants in February 2015 so we hope it will not all go to waste," Ubial said.

DOH currently has P250 million worth of subdermal implants kept intact until SC will allow the resumption of its distribution.
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