THE United States government provided nearly P3.7 million ($66,500) in funding and technical assistance to support the launch of four digital platforms that help promote family planning and address teenage pregnancies in the Philippines.

As part of its ReachHealth program, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) formally introduced the four platforms during the Innovation Accelerator Impact Showcase held on February 21 in Makati City.

These innovators are: CareGo EMR, which developed an SMS communication system to notify the public about free and available family planning, reproductive, and maternal health services;, which developed Turn You On 2.0, a one-stop shop for comprehensive sexual and reproductive health education for Filipino Gen Z youth; FriendlyCare Foundation, which developed the e-Plano App to provide easy access to family planning methods through digital booking, education, and consultation; and, a digital baby book and online community for mothers and families seeking more information on pregnancy and postpartum family planning.

With the assistance of Villgro Philippines and the Duke University Global Health Innovation Center, the four developers received six months of intensive support that prepared their respective applications for market release.

Following their formal launch, these platforms may be used by local governments and government health agencies to promote family planning resources and services for the public.

Each platform is aligned with the priorities of the Department of Health (DOH), the Commission on Population and Development, and the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation to provide more reliable, affordable, and accessible family planning commodities and services.

“We are happy to see the innovation ecosystem in the Philippines starting to engage in family planning and adolescent reproductive health issues,” said USAID Philippines Office of Health Director Michelle Lang-Alli. “USAID is committed to helping countries meet the family planning and reproductive health needs of their people. “

For her part, Philippines DOH Assistant Secretary Dr. Beverly Ho encouraged innovators to bravely pursue and scale up their family planning solutions.

“We are talking about 60 percent of 110 million Filipinos who are not be able to pay for services on their own, so we have to find ways to work on that,” she said.

“This is why it is important for us to come together and build connections so that we can know who is doing what and support each other,” Ho added. (PR)