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Women Clamour for Contraceptives

MANILA, May 9 2011 (IPS) - In a small women’s clinic in the congested community of San Andres Bukid in the Philippine capital, a mother of 11 is availing herself of family planning services for the first time in her life.

After a counselling session with a health worker, she decides to get her first dose of Depo Provera, a hormonal contraceptive given via injection. Never before has she used anything to prevent pregnancy.

“My husband does not want to use a condom because he doesn’t feel good when we have sex,” Aida Bensi tells IPS.

The Bensis are typical in Manila, where couples have an average of five to eight children, says Lina Bacalando, a community health worker for the non-profit group Likhaan Centre for Women’s Health. The city of over 1.5 million is said to have one of the highest population densities of any major city in the world.


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