Zonta Club of Greater Rizal II addresses teenage pregnancy and more

The Zonta Club of Greater Rizal II, Philippines, built a better world for women and girls in their community with multiple events.

Teenage pregnancy forum
On 31 January, the club partnered with the Zonta Club of Marikina to host a forum on teenage pregnancy. The impactful event gathered almost a thousand high school students aged 12-16 from Sta. Elena High School.

The main speaker for the forum was Director Milagros Rivera from the Institute for Reproductive Health Philippine Foundation. She discussed teenagers' physiological and emotional changes and emphasized the need for more values formation for teens and appreciation for life's sanctity. This topic is significant for their local community because early pregnancy is one of the pressing issues Filipino youths are facing today. The Philippines has one of the highest teenage pregnancy rates among the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states. Early sexual education among the youth improves awareness of the sacredness of their bodies, thereby preventing undesired pregnancy among young girls.

Both clubs, teachers and the school principal attended this event. They also distributed leaflets regarding the characteristics of a sexually healthy adolescent.

This forum is beneficial because early pregnancy in adolescence carries increased risks for poor health outcomes for both mother and child and lower educational attainment and employability.

Breastmilk donation
On 16 March 2023, the club gathered 50 lactating mothers to donate breastmilk to the Jose Abad Santos Hospital Milk Bank. Club President Rosalinda Lim and member Divina Lupe attended the event.

This donation is important to the local community because donating breastmilk to the local milk bank can help save the lives of premature babies and those who need it the most since not all mothers can produce small or big amounts of breastmilk.

The club also conducted a seminar on family planning, birth control, and pap smear examinations, all related to women's health. Women's health is vital to the local community, mainly because there is overpopulation in the Philippines, and they should take care of women's health for a better community.

Medical mission
Club member Divina headed a medical mission with the Zonta e-Club of Philippines2, Councilor Don de Leon's office and the Responsible Parenthood and Natural Family Planning Network to serve four underprivileged barangays with free medical treatments. The group provided medical consultation, free medication and vitamins, pap smear and breast examinations for women, ECGs, x-rays, deworming for children, dental, optical and wellness.

This is important to the local community as medical access is very hard in a third-world country. There is insufficient financial support from the government, and the majority are just on the minimum wage, which is barely enough for daily needs, thus making health not a top priority or expense.