Telephone Information and Referral Services on Sterilization

Code:    Proj-70
Date:    05/01/1977 - 07/01/1978
Duration: 14 Months

This project was an innovation on, and an expansion of Instant Sagot sa Family Planning, a telephone information and referral service implemented by the Institute of Maternal and Child Health (IMCH) in 1974. Aside from the regular telephone counselors, the project had outreach workers who visited callers interested in undergoing sterilization, gave the necessary information and advice on the procedure, and facilitated the delivery of the service by accompanying the callers to designated sterilization centers in Metro Manila. To promote and maximize the use of this telephone service, IMCH prepared an IEC plan which detailed the strategies to be employed in reaching specified target audiences. A task force composed of four representatives - one each from IMCH, the Commission on Population (POPCOM), the National Media Production Center (NMPC) and PCF - was organized to review the plan and make suggestions and modifications when necessary. IMCH implemented the following IEC strategies: development and distribution of stickers and handbills; interview of project staff over radio and television programs; and advertising of the telephone service in a daily newspaper and popular women's magazines. An evaluation component was built into the project to determine the impact of instituting the outreach workers into the telephone service. Over the period of seven months (June-December 1977), the project generated a total of 2,549 calls, or an average of 365 calls a month. About 13 percent of the total calls concerned sterilization. A total of 59 acceptors, or an average of eight acceptors a month, were recruited. Of these, 40 (or 68 percent) was attributed to follow-up by the outreach worker. The rest were referred directly to sterilization centers by the telephone counselor. The outreach workers reported that 40 (or 40 percent) of the 99 callers referred to them underwent sterilization. On the other hand, the telephone counselors reported that 19 of the 61 callers (or 31 percent) referred directly to sterilization centers underwent sterilization.