Planning the future | Daily News

Planning the future

Consultant Obstetrician and Gynecologist attached to Castle Street Hospital for Women, Dr. Sanath Lanerolle and Consultant Community Physician / Family Health Bureau, Dr. Sanjeeva S.P. Godakandage speak about `Family Planning' which is a human right.

According to Dr. Lanerolle, the complications of sub-optimal spacing among children are maternal nutrition depletion, folate depletion, cervical insufficiency, vertical transmission of infections, sub-optimal lactation related breastfeeding-pregnancy overlap, sibling competition, transmission of infectious diseases among siblings, incomplete healing of uterine scar from previous cesarean delivery and abnormal remodeling of endometrial blood vessels.

According to Dr. Godakandage, it is unfortunate to see the complications, including maternal deaths, due to the unmet need for family planning, as modern methods can easily be obtained free of charge from service providers in the government sector throughout the country.

The area public health midwife would deliver condoms and oral pills during home visits. Temporary methods can be obtained from family planning clinics located in the field as well as in hospitals, which are easily accessible to every household in the country. The General Practitioner too should be able to provide most temporary methods. There are several NGOs that provide temporary methods of family planning. Oral pills and condoms are freely available in the commercial sector as well.


For optimal health and survival of mothers and children, a 3 - 5 year gap between two children is medically recommended. This recommendation may have to be modified for older females.


* Basic services for sub fertility management are currently provided in the Government sector at present. A centre is being built at Castle Street Hospital for Women to provide advanced sub fertility management services.

* The Family Planning Service providers always respect the autonomy of women and couples regarding the number of children. They only assist women and couples to arrive at an important decision by providing scientific information. For examples the fact that having more than four (4) pregnancies is a health risk, will be communicated.

* A number of temporary and permanent methods are available in Sri Lanka for family planning. The permanent methods for males and females are vasectomy and tubal ligation (LRT) respectively. There are hormonal and non-hormonal family planning methods. The non-hormonal family planning methods include the IUD (loop) and the condom. Hormonal methods include oral pill, injectables and implants.


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