The Daily Manila Shimbun


Absence of implants could cause maternal deaths to rise 8,000 until 2022

March 10, 2017

More than 8,000 maternal deaths could occur until 2022 unless the Supreme Court (SC) lifts a temporary restraining order against selling and distribution of subdermal implant contraceptives, Implanon and Implanon NXT.

In its study, the Commission on Population (Popcom) warned preventing the distribution and selling of subdermal implants could result to more maternal deaths since the temporary restraining order was imposed in June 2015.

“To date, the Popcom estimates that there have been an additional 500,000 unintended pregnancies since the SC imposed the TRO on Implanon use. Thus, the possible effect on maternal health to date is 1,105,” said the study.

“By the end of 2022, this number will rise to 8,398 if Implanon continues to be withheld from public use,” it added.

Popcom said it based its data on its estimates the number of Filipinos could rise to over 113.7 million by 2022 from the present approximation of some 104 million.

This is 3.6 million more when compared to an estimate of over 110 million only if subdermal implants would be available.

“The possibility of the SC extending the coverage of the TRO would further affect the demographic scenario and set back our progress to the demographic dividend by over two decades,” said the study.

“Households and government would have to support and provide services for an additional 3.6 million Filipinos,” added the agency.

Popcom also warned continued withholding of the contraceptive implants would cause the gradual decrease in the contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR) from 2015 to 2022.

From the 2015 CPR of 57.7 percent, the agency fears that it could go down to 55.1 percent only by 2022 if implants remain unavailable.

This is in contrast to the CPR projection if there are available subdermal implants from 57.7 percent to 64.1 percent by 2022.

Popcom Executive Director Juan Antonio Perez said “these are the effects of the TRO today. It is for the same reason why the government is asking the SC to please resolve this as soon as possible in the interest of public health.” DMS