by Roots of Health
We have now entered the last quarter of 2020, and have passed 6 months since the coronavirus pandemic changed our world. Palawan has continued to be on modified community quarantine, which requires everyone to use face masks and face shields whenever they leave their home, limits the number of people who can gather together in person, and continues to restrict the movements of people, including young people under the age of 21. Private schools began online classes in August, and the public schools resumed in early October. The Department of Education is employing blended learning techniques, and in Palawan, this entails parents picking up school packets for their children on Monday, and returning them answered on Friday. We have been told that there will be no in-person schooling until 2021, or until there is a readily-available vaccine.
Our truck now doubles as a mobile clinic, in order to provide contraceptive services wherever they are needed.
While we cannot teach young people about their reproductive health in person, we have been engaging youth with informational and educational materials about reproductive health online using Facebook. In addition to generating content targeting adolescents, we have also created online groups for other people that influence the youth - groups for youth leaders, for parents, for teachers, and for community health workers. We believe that the more these stakeholders know about adolescent sexual and reproductive health, the better they can support young people in protecting their health and futures.
A Young woman receives her DMPA injection, which prevents pregnancy for three months.
Since young people and women still need contraceptive services, we have continued to operate our clinic with strict safety protocols. We have also continued to provide community-based services to people who request them, so that they can access their contraception from the safety of their own homes and communities. As long as our services are needed, we will continue to ensure that we meet the demands of our clients to help them protect their health.
One of our young clients opting to have an implant inserted, in order to avoid an unplanned pregnancy for three years.
I’d like to say a special thank you to Daisy Pope-Brien and her incredible team who worked so hard to raise support for our programs and services --- not an easy task given COVID and cancelled events! Thank you so much as well to all of the ANZA members and donors. We appreciate your generosity so much. COVID is testing our capacities and making our work ever-more challenging to carry out, but with supporters like all of you, I feel confident we will be able to continue providing women and young people the essential services they need to protect their health and safeguard their futures. Thank you for being our partner in this important work.
Another young client receives anesthesia to have her expired implant removed, and a new one put in.
I hope that you and your families are staying safe and healthy.
Amina Evangelista Swanepoel
Executive Director, Roots of Health