Today is: Sat, May 25, 2013
Good Men are Not Hard to Find
Men in Albay pledge support to family health.
Every year almost 20 women die due to complications related to pregnancy and childbirth in the Province of Albay, where 1.2 million Filipinos reside. While traditionally pregnancy and childbirth are the domain of women, decisions surrounding these issues are often strongly influenced by their male partners. Recognizing the role of men in household decision-making, USAID’s Health Promotion and Communication Project spearheaded Albay Men’s Congresses on family health to encourage and reinforce male involvement in family planning, maternal and child health.
The Congress, “Macho Talk: Responsible Father, Caring Husband,” took place in Tabaco City in 2010 with 110 male participants—local officials, teachers, farmers, fishermen, vendors, and more. Responsible parenthood along with myths and misconceptions surrounding modern contraceptives were addressed. The participants came up with individual plans to strengthen their role in improving maternal and child health, and better manage their family. Some of the participants have opted for no-scalpel vasectomy while others preferred condoms and other methods.
Good news travels fast: the success of the Congress prompted Albay’s local government and private entities to replicate and support this male involvement initiative. In 2011, in Camalig municipality, 25 male cement factory workers participated in the “Macho Talks at Work,” where they received information on birth spacing, responsible parenthood, maternal and child health. A coconut plantation and an abaca cordage exporting company reached out to 200 fathers with its own “Macho Talk.”
Another Congress, “Macho Talks: Pedal Tricycle Drivers are Responsible Fathers,” was organized for 67 couples to introduce Department of Health’s 3-5 years birth spacing campaign and provide information on various methods of family planning in Tabaco City in 2011. Informed and empowered, “Macho Talk” participants support their partners and peers in the use of family planning methods, and timely maternal and child health care services. Acting upon their commitment to support their families at “Macho Talk”, over 400 condoms were distributed, and 25 out of 67 male participants signed up and later underwent no-scalpel vasectomy after attending a health talk and receiving comprehensive counseling.
Committed to further promote male involvement, the Tabaco City budget now includes funds for annual “Macho Talks” congresses. These are aimed at reaching more fathers with key health messages, stimulating shared parenting responsibilities and communication within families that will ultimately improve the overall health status of local citizens. Others are already following in their footsteps… Good men are not hard to find in the Philippines!
- Success Stories
- New Health Strategy-Best Practices at Scale in the Home, Community and Facilities
- Family Planning (FP) and Maternal & Child Health (MCH)
- Integrated Maternal, Neonatal, Child Health and Nutrition/Family Planning Regional Project in Luzon (LuzonHealth)
- Integrated Maternal, Neonatal, Child Health and Nutrition/Family Planning Regional Project in Visayas (VisayasHealth)
- Integrated Maternal, Neonatal, Child Health and Nutrition/Family Planning Regional Project in Mindanao (MindanaoHealth)
- Communication for Health Advancement Through Networking and Governance Enhancement (CHANGE)
- Health Policy Development Program-Phase 2 (HPDP2)
- Private Sector Mobilization for Family Planning-Phase 2 (PRISM2)
- Community Maternal, Neonatal, Child Health and Nutrition Scale Up (CMSU)
- Maternal and Child Health Integrated Program (MCHIP) Philippines
- Building Actors and Leaders for Advancing Community Excellence in Development (BALANCED) Project
- Tuberculosis (TB)