Monday, July 21, 2008

World Population Day Celebrated

HAIN participated in the World Population Day week-long celebration from July 7 until July 11, 2008 in the city of Manila entitled “Family Planning: Karapatan Ko, Karapatan mo, Gawing Totoo”. The said event was organized by the Reproductive Health Advocacy Network (RHAN) wherein HAIN is the Chair of the Public Information and Education Committee. RHAN is a coalition of 40 non-government organizations and civic groups advocating for reproductive health and rights. RHAN also leads the campaign for the passage of national legislation on reproductive health (RH) and other issues pertaining to it.

During the week-long celebration, RHAN made the symbolic effort to denounce Executive Order 003 imposed by Manila City former Mayor Lito Atienza in 2000. The city ordinance discouraged the use of contraceptives by his constituents leading to a virtual ban. Atienza also campaigned among the people that artificial methods of family planning are against the law and the pro-life principles of the Catholic Church. For eight years, Manila residents were deprived of artificial family planning commodities, information and services resulting in unplanned pregnancies, marital squabbling and neglected children.

The celebration kicked-off with a 4-day exhibit featuring IEC materials from RHAN and the City Health Office of Manila and a forum on reproductive health at the City College of Manila. Several NGOs, GOs, and the academe especially students participated in the festive activity.

On July 11, Manila held its first family planning fair after Mayor Alfredo Lim lifted Executive Order 003. Around 700 women crowded the Tondo Sports Complex to avail of free contraceptive pills, condoms and reading materials, legal advice on VAW, adolescent reproductive health information, vasectomy and tubal ligation counseling and referrals, IUD and injectables as well as natural family planning method from health, legal and social workers and volunteers of RHAN and the City Health Office of Manila. The residents in poor communities acted on their need at the first opportunity offered them and exercised informed choice and basic right on reproductive health especially family planning during the culminating activity of the World Population day.

A signature campaign in support of the passage of the RH bill was also gathered during the week-long celebration.

RHAN shall therefore intensify its information and education campaign together with the city of Manila officials and residents so as to debunk the notion that artificial methods of family planning are against the law and immoral. RHAN will still continue its effort in helping local government units for the promotion and provision of RH needs and rights.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

2008 UNGASS Country Progress Reports on AIDS

The Philippines, through a multisectoral effort, has successfully submitted the official country progress report to UNAIDS (see previous articles on the process and the different activities conducted in developing the report). In submitting data, the country used CRIS or the Country Response Information System software. The narrative report was also submitted. UNGASS requires the submission of country reports every two years for the monitoring of progress towards the UNGASS Declaration of Commitment adopted by member states in 2001.

The report may be accessed at A printed summary of the report was also produced to highlight key findings.

Copies of the report in CD-ROM format and the printed summary of the report may be requested from PNAC:

Dr. Jessie F. Fatone
M&E Officer
PNAC Secretariat
Bldg. 15 Deparment of Health
San Lazaro Compound, Sta. Cruz
Manila, Philippines
Telephone – (02) 743-0512
Email -

The CD-ROM contains the 2006 Progress Report and other related documents used in the development and preparation of the report. The development of the report was coordinated by Health Action Information Network in partnerhsip with TLF-Share Collective and PNAC.

Monday, July 14, 2008

New Materials at the HAIN Resource Center

Title of the Book: Redefining AIDS in Asia: Crafting an Effective Response Report of the Commission on AIDS in Asia

Principal Editor: Hein Marais
Publisher: Oxford University Press, New Delhi 2008

Summary: The Commission on AIDS in Asia was constituted to review and assess the impact of AIDS in Asia. This comprehensive study deepens and refines the understanding of Asia’s pandemic and pinpoints critical components of a viable and sustainable long-term response that can curb AIDS in Asia. It includes key implementation strategies at both the policy and operational levels for stronger response to HIV and AIDS.

The Commission concludes that among the 23 Asian countries covered under this Report, each were capable of mobilizing resources and adopting the technologies needed to win the battle against AIDS if their leaders show strong political commitment and determination, and adopt it as a priority in their political agenda.

Title of the Book: Asia Pacific Civil Society and 2008 UNGASS on HIV and AIDS

Prepared by: Asia Pacific of AIDS Service Organizations, April 2008

Summary: A general overview of the analysis and outcomes of the processes for the development of the 2008 UNGASS Reports from 25 countries in Asia and Pacific. It was noted that the current Country Reports has improved reflecting improved data collection, increased political commitment and the willingness to acknowledge key areas of weakness in national responses including the need to involve civil society organizations, PLHIV and vulnerable groups.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

RGS batch BabaylangVeronica

HAIN conducted the 10th training-workshop on Religion, Gender and Sexuality last July 2-5 in Davao City. Twenty reproductive health advocates participated the workshop. The group is called babaylangVeronica.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

The 567 Group’s Fight for AIDS

The 567 group was established in November 2003 to address the need to have a support group for the people living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHAs) in Vietnam. The 567 group is composed of parents of PLWHAs who live in wards 5, 6 and 7 of Vung Tau city. A ward is equivalent to a barangay in the Philippines.

In a brief encounter with Mr. Dzung Chi, an officer of the 567 group, he discussed the history and objective of the group. The group organizes and provides care and treatment, including antiretroviral, to PLWHAs from Vung Tau, Tien Giang and Ca Mau who in the past needed to go to Ho Chi Minh City for support services. Located several hours away from Ho Chi Minh, Mr. Chi lamented that Vung Tau lack access to health services.

Another objective of 567 is to make other people understand about HIV/AIDS and ARVs to gather more support for the PLWHAs.

Aside from health service, the group also encourage PLWHAs to avail the free services, plan treatment schedules for new patients, provide counseling for individuals and groups of patients and their relatives, link patients to other needed services, and help patients on drug compliance.

The home-based care and support is an effective way of helping each other so that mothers of PLWHAs can better take care of their children. They also establish partnerships with other groups such as GIPA.

One concrete example of their activity is having a pilot group of goodwill volunteers supporting HIV/AIDS testing and treatment at clinic No. 8 of the Tropical Diseases Hospital which specializes in AIDS treatment of South Vietnam. The clinic gathers many well-experienced doctors and implements many small and big projects on HIV/AIDS.
A lot of the patients received treatment at the clinic No.8. Some patients have been receiving treatment for more than six years at this clinic.

While 567 Group receives financial support from VCSPA & HAVAG, they also aim to be self-sustainable by putting up a coffee shop in Ho Chi Minh.

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