An Overview of Friendlycare

An Overview of FriendlyCare
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Healthy Woman, Happy Life

Cervical cancer kills 12 Filipinas every day. The Philippines also has one of the highest breast cancer prevalence in Asia.

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Be Careful with Your Heart

A broken heart doesn’t kill you (and even makes you stronger), but heart diseases do!

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Your Family Health Saver

Your health is your wealth. Good health does not need to be expensive with FriendlyCard.

August is Family Planning Month!

August is Family Planning Month!

Don’t have any idea what’s a good method for you and your family? Let these infographics on Natural, Artificial and Permanent Family Planning Methods help you make your choice.

Or better yet, to know which Family Planning method is best for you, visit our clinics and ask our Family Planning counselors! You may also call us at 722-2968 loc. 110.

Plan your family. Plan your future.

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Family Planning in the Workplace

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image source: cw.iabc.com

People often think that family affairs should not be brought into the workplace. That may be true in some cases, however family planning and responsible parenting issues are exceptions to that unspoken rule.

As part of their commitment to their workers and employees, the employers also have the responsibility to take care of the workers’ welfare by bringing family planning into the workplace. This is not merely a moral obligation, but as a matter of fact, a legal obligation.

According to Article 134 of the Labor Code and Rule 5, Sec. 5.07 of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012, establishments which are required by law to maintain a clinic or infirmary shall provide free Family Planning services to their employees.

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image source: betterwork.org

That means that companies and/or employers – who employ more than 200 workers (see Sec. 11, Rule XII, Employment of Women and Minors) – are in fact obligated by law to give their workers and employees access to family planning services for free.

Though this may sound like another risky, money-spending investment to business-minded, profit-oriented people, numerous studies have shown that integrating Family Planning in the workplace has concrete and major benefits not only for the workers and the employees, but for the company and employers as well.

According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) one of the most common benefits of having a Family Planning program integrated in the workplace is improved productivity.

In a 2008 study conducted by the Employers’ Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) and led by University of the Philippines economics professor Benjamin Diokno, it was shown that having better access to FP services in their workplace helped employees prevent unplanned pregnancies and afforded them opportunities to efficiently and better manage their time and resources. This enables them to focus more on their work and produce quality results which then lead to an increase in productivity and to the economic growth of the company.

Having an integrated family planning program in the workplace also increased awareness and knowledge about family planning among the workers and boosted their desire to use FP methods. With a majority of the workers using contraceptive methods, there were less people who availed of maternity and/or paternity leaves, which allowed the companies to garner savings in medical insurance and hiring of temporary employees.

image source: inc-asean.com

image source: inc-asean.com

Integrating family planning in the workplace is, in the words of renowned journalist Ana Santos, “good business sense”. It allows workers and employees to improve the quality of their lives by being able to control and plan their families and their futures, while also giving the companies economic and business incentives.

Happy workers equal happy workplaces and happy companies. If you wish to increase productivity in your workplace and take care of your employees at the same time, contact us at FriendlyCare and we will bring the Family Planning services you and your workers need, straight to your companies.

Call us @ 722-2968 now!

Sources:

http://www.unfpa.org.ph/index.php/news/48-business-sector-takes-active-role-in-family-planning

http://www.rappler.com/move-ph/16313-family-planning-makes-good-business-sense

Mindfulness at FriendlyCare

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What is mindfulness? For people who are not familiar with it, the word mindfulness sounds very vague and obscure; perhaps not something we would usually associate with health care. Why? Because when we hear the word “health”, we often think about bodily symptoms and physical illnesses and often disregard the mind.

Yet the mind is one of the most important aspects of our health. It is the mind that determines our actions and our body’s responses, and it has a very strong influence on the state of our body. According to research for example, we are twice as likely to contract a cold when our minds are stressed. That’s because stress weakens our immune system and affects its sensitivity to certain hormones which can exacerbate our symptoms and make the cold worse.

If we want to take care of our health, it is therefore also essential that we take care of our minds and this is where mindfulness comes in.

One functional definition of Mindfulness is, it is the ability to know what’s happening in your head at a given moment without being carried away by it (Dan Harris, 2014). It develops good coping skills and makes us more resilient to stress-inducing stimuli. It is a practice and a discipline that is being adopted by numerous companies from different fields of work like Starbucks, Google, Intel, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, Facebook, etc. and it has research- proven benefits like improved productivity, stress reduction, boosts in working memory, less emotional reactivity and more cognitive flexibility.

Finally, it is mindfulness that FriendlyCare has now included to its array of affordable quality health services.

CMS LogoThe Mindfulness-Based Wellness for Stress Reduction (MWSR) in the workplace is a program by FriendlyCare and developed in collaboration with The Centre for Mindfulness Studies (CMS) from Toronto, Canada, to suit the Filipino working class’ needs.

CMS led by Executive Director Tita Angcangco and Faculty Director Patricia Rockman have trained FriendlyCare facilitators and equipped them with the skills necessary to hold mindfulness-based workshops and teach Filipinos how to be mindful of themselves and take better care of their health.

The MWSR program offered by FriendlyCare is the first of its kind in the Philippines. It is a group-based, drug-free, portable 4-week workshop that comes with one 3-hour learning session each week.

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The Center for Mindfulness Studies trains FriendlyCare facilitators and equips them with the skills to share mindfulness to other Filipinos.

In the four-week workshop, the participants will learn how to develop life skills including self-awareness, focused attention, conscious choices to respond versus react, emotional regulation, and mindful observing, that ultimately result to compassion, wisdom, empathy, resilience, and taking care of self and others.

FriendlyCare’s MWSR program is conducted in an experiential manner, which means that participants learn not merely through lectures but rather learning by doing. It guides participants in integrating mindfulness into their everyday lives and enables them to have a mindful habit. Also, since FriendlyCare is committed to providing its clients with quality but affordable health services, we are offering our MWSR program to all interested participants, at a friendly cost.

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A meditation exercise where participants learn how to cope with stress and their wandering minds during a workshop conducted by FriendlyCare.

If you wish to be mindful and take better care of your mind, if you want to be able to cope with all the stressful situations life brings you to, and if you desire to become a more resilient, well-rounded person why not try to become mindful?

We, at FriendlyCare, would be more than willing to help! Call us at 722-5205 now!

You may also visit our facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/mindfulness.friendlycare/.

 

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Sources:

http://www.apa.org/monitor/2012/07-08/ce-corner.aspx

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/04/25/stress-and-vitamin-d-deficiency-cause-cold.aspx

http://thechart.blogs.cnn.com/2012/04/02/why-stress-makes-colds-more-likely/

 

Handog sa Kay-Anlog

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“Serve the Filipino people.” – it’s a line I’ve heard countless times when I was still at my alma mater, too many times perhaps that it has at one point begun to sound rather irksome and I may have subconsciously attempted to avoid thinking about it. As a fresh graduate, the temptation to start thinking about myself instead was just too strong, yet fate perhaps had other ideas. I went and got an internship at an NGO called FriendlyCare and the line came haunting me again.

The haunting happened when my internship brought me to Kay-Anlog.

Brgy. Kay-Anlog is a hard-to-reach, backwater town located in the outskirts of Calamba, Laguna. The roads leading to this little town are often rough, lined with tall, overgrown grasses and become muddy under the slightest drizzle. The houses in the barangay are roofed with rusting iron sheets, have gray unpainted walls and are usually at a dismal state. It has a high poverty incidence rate, which is not entirely surprising considering that it is a relocation area for informal settlers coming from different parts of the country. Aside from that however, the town also has low access to proper sanitation and clean, potable water.

Perhaps for these reasons, Kay-Anlog is classified as a GIDA, that is, as a Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Area.

Hearing the term GIDA was nothing new to me, but going to one place classified as such was an experience I’ve never had and as a former UP student, the prospect of going to Kay-Anlog pulled the principles drilled into me by my old school back up the surface.

We went to Kay-Anlog on a cold rainy Tuesday. I was with the Family Planning (FP) Department of FriendlyCare led by Madelene Magallon, whose team were to hold a mission at Kay-Anlog as part of a project funded by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and in observance of the Family Planning Month, which takes place every August. FriendlyCare’s founding mission has always been to provide Filipino’s with affordable quality family planning services and this project was part of their continuous commitment to give their fellowmen access to the services they need to plan their families. During this mission, FriendlyCare’s FP department were to give a lecture about family planning, counsel women on the different FP choices they have, and provide free implant insertions to the residents of the barangay.

Implants (Progestin-Subdermal Implants) are a form of artificial family planning which prevents pregnancy by secreting hormones that interfere with the ovaries’ egg cell production. That means, if a woman who has an implant were to have sex with a male partner, no egg would be fertilized and therefore no pregnancy would occur. This method of family planning is effective for three years, which means the woman and her family would not have to worry about unplanned pregnancies for that span of time. For people who barely have access to reliable health services and who live in isolated hard-to-reach areas, this FP method was a good fit.

As we were nearing the Southville Livelihood Center where the mission was to be held, we weren’t very optimistic. The rain was starting to worsen and we were afraid that the women would be discouraged by the uncooperative weather. When we finally arrived at the venue, we were however welcomed with rows and rows of mothers seated in the hall, some even with their kids in tow, and with more still lining up to register.

The program began promptly and as the marketing intern I started doing my job of documenting every step and phase of the mission. It was while I was doing my task that I realized just how important these kinds of medical missions were, especially in areas like Kay-Anlog. More than that, I saw with my own eyes the pitiful realities my fellow Filipinos have to live with every day.

Most of the women who came to the mission belonged to families who were earning way below minimum wage and who did not have jobs of their own. Those I was able to chat with revealed that they had no access to education beyond the primary years. These women will have no access to the medical services they need if no one offers it to them at low costs.

An implant, I learned from one of the nurses working for the FP department, would normally cost 12,000 PHP a piece at another provider. If service providers like FriendlyCare did not exist and if organizations like UNFPA did not support providers with funding, then how was a woman whose family earns a measly three hundred pesos a day supposed to plan her family, her future and her life?

In the course of the mission I met a 19 year old girl who already had three children. There was also a 28 year old mother who was already taking care of 7 children, the first one of which was born when she was only 17. Looking back at my memories, I was nothing but a girl focused on my books when I was seventeen, nothing but a girl enjoying her freedom when I was nineteen. Yet these girls already had, not just one but a couple of lives in their hands at these ages. Why? Because no one was there to educate them about their rights and their choices and because no one was there to give them access to these rights.

At the end of the mission, despite feeling fortunate to have been part of a program that gave women a bit more say in their lives, I was unhappy. I knew that there were more places like Kay-Anlog, perhaps places that were even more isolated, even more disadvantaged; and in those places, there would be even more women who do not have access to the services they need; women, who will have needs that have since a long time remained unmet. It was a sad, dismal reality. If I were thankful for anything, it was because I knew something could be done about it and that day’s medical mission proved it.

Experiencing this and being able to participate in this mission was one of the greatest gifts I’ve had. It showed me once more, the magic in the lines “serve the Filipino people”. It showed me that it was no corny, gasgas phrase but a phrase we should all keep in mind; a phrase inspired only by the realities and needs of the country we live in.

This is why I would like to thank FriendlyCare. Not only because it allowed me to become a part of an organization that has since such a long time served the people to the best of their abilities, but because I know it will continue to serve the people in the time that is yet to come.

By Jamila Colleen Briones, University of the Philippines – Diliman

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Sources:

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/accre_team/oNOeG32B-Cw

http://calambacity.gov.ph/index.php/15-mayors-corner

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