Poor access to supplies in the Phillippines

22nd June 2010

A sharp decline in publicly funded contraceptive services and supplies in the Philippines since 2004 has created severe barriers to women's contraceptive use, according to a new analysis conducted by the New York–based Guttmacher Institute. The proportion of modern method users who obtain their supplies from the public sector declined from 67% in 2003 to 46% in 2008. Thus, more women are now relying on the private sector to obtain modern contraceptives, which means higher costs and reduced access, particularly for poor and low-income women.

This decline is due largely to the United States Agency for International Development's ending its provision of free family planning supplies to the government and the Arroyo administration's reluctance to replace it with a viable national public program. Access to contraceptives for poor women now depends mostly on the ability and willingness of local government offices to support these services. Local governments can purchase contraceptives and include family planning services at their discretion as part of their public health functions if and when their limited budgets allow for such spending. To date, few have done so.

Read the full article here.

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