Amazon Promise’s Family Planning Program
Access to family planning is essential to securing the well-being and autonomy of women in developing communities. Family planning is one of the most powerful tools we can use to interrupt the cycle of grinding poverty that oppresses women and limits their life choices. Incorporating family planning into basic health care services improves maternal and child health and welfare while also conserving natural resources.
In November 2017, an AP medical team travelled to remote villages of the lower Ucayali and Maranon Rivers to offer family planning education and other health and medical related services. We provided 51 women with Implanon contraceptive arm implants, which are fully effective for three years, allowing them more control over the number and spacing of their children.
Of the 51 women who received the Implanon implant, 22 women had it removed due to adverse reactions or for personal reasons. The most common adverse reactions were heavy bleeding or headaches. Of the 22 women who had the implant removed, 12 are now on either oral or injectable contraceptives, provided by our team. One woman chose to become pregnant, 7 rejected further contraceptive options, and two women did not return to clinic. This first program concluded in November 2020. We have since begun working with a second group of women which includes many from the first program, as well as new participants. We continue to monitor their well-being throughout the year.
The remote communities where Amazon Promise works are only accessible by boat, so getting to a medical center or hospital is next to impossible for the majority of women. Providing effective community-based educational programs improves health and enhances quality of life. Promotion of family planning and ensuring access to preferred methods of contraception for women and couples is essential to supporting the overall health and development of these communities.
Amazon Promise remains engaged with all of the women who have received the various methods of contraception mentioned, which is sponsored by the Peruvian Ministry of Health, to ensure they know the insertion and removal dates of the arm implants, potential side effects, and ways to seek out immediate care if needed.
We are thankful to Dr. Carlos Rivero, Obstetra, Briguitte Burga of the Loreto Ministry of Health, and Olivia Wellborn, for their dedication to women’s health and well-being.