The year 2020 and what it had in store surprised us all— it changed our lifestyle in ways we never anticipated. With the implementation of strict lockdowns in different parts of the world, the Philippines included, to combat the threat of Covid-19 pandemic, this caused domino effects not just in the world economy but also in the population.
In the Philippines alone, the University of the Philippines Population Institute, together with United Nations Population Fund study, showed that there will be 600,000 Filipino women who wouldn’t have the access to contraceptives available in public health clinics and hospitals. This situation will lead to lockdown baby boom, where nearly 2 million babies are expected to be born this 2021, according to Juan Antonio Perez III, executive director of the Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM).
Extending help to moms and babies
Given this alarming situation, the Johnson & Johnson Philippines together with the Mercury Drug Foundation (MDF) Inc, once again worked together to continue their initiative of providing newborn kits to different hospitals and lying-in clinics in the country. In an exclusive interview with Manila Bulletin Lifestyle, Johnson’s Baby Philippines marketing manager Alde Po and MDF Inc. executive director Annie Fuentes share more information about this program and how it will benefit mothers and newborn babies.
According to both of them, due to limited movement because of the lockdown, identifying the beneficiaries had become a tough challenge, but with the help of technology, their teams were able to meet and finalize details.
“It was difficult for us to finalize the program itself since we used to meet face to face with the heads but thanks to technology, we were able to pull it off,” says Annie. “Initially, we were targeting to reach more hospitals this year but because of the pandemic, we had to adjust our plans.”
Upon deliberation, the organizations have decided to choose Quezon City as the program beneficiary where 14 lying-in clinics and hospitals will receive newborn kits.
“This year, have chosen the Quezon City Government as the partnership’s beneficiary,” says Alde. “With almost 3 million in population, Quezon City is the most populous city in Metro Manila and the largest city in the country to be hit by the pandemic.”
Each kit bag includes baby wash, lotion, baby oil, wipes, and powder. Overall, 3,500 mommies and babies will benefit from this.
“For this year’s kit, we’ve added baby powder and baby wipes and retained our best hypoallergenic newborn skincare product, Cottontouch – the only brand recommended by the Mother and Child Nurses Association of the Philippines,” Alde says.
This J&J and MDF program has been running for three years now, benefitting thousands of mommies and babies across the country.