Coronavirus lockdown could lead to highest births in Philippines in two decades

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Jun 29, 2020, 02.47 PM(IST)

Pregnant woman Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

The projections by the University of the Philippines Population Institute and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), claim 214,000 more babies to be born next year

The Philippines, which was under one of the longest lockdowns in the world, could see more than 200,000 births next year, largely due to unplanned pregnancies in the lockdowns and shortages of contraceptives.

The projections by the University of the Philippines Population Institute and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), claim 214,000 more babies to be born next year, and if held true would be country's highest in over two decades. 

Also read | Anti-terrorism bill as urgent as pandemic: Council defends Philippines President

Health workers say that movement restrictions imposed in March prevented both patients and medical personnel from reaching clinics for months, and are now leading to shortages in the supply of condoms and other contraceptives in the region. 

Also read | Children will not go to schools till vaccine is available: Philippines

Nandy Senoc, executive director of the Family Planning Organization of the Philippines (FPOP) said that despite their staff continued offering services, all work has been negatively affected. He said that government facilities were opened, but were inaccessible, reported The Guardian.

The supply of contraceptives was also scarcely available, especially in island provinces and rural areas far from the capital city. 

The lockdown restrictions have been eased, but family planning organisations still are operating with skeletal staff to promote social distancing. 

Rocelle Casilla, a doctor at a rural hospital in La Union province in the northern Philippines, said many of her patients could not get contraceptives that were due because of the lockdown. 

"Women here prefer the injectable contraceptives, which protect them for three months. Many of those who were due for new injections in April, during the hard lockdown, only came to us this month," Casilla said.