Wednesday, July 29, 2015

EASIER WAY TO MANAGE YOUR CONTRACEPTIVE PILL

Tech-savvy Malaysian women can now look forward to smart mobile technology to help manage their family planning at their fingertips. MSD, one of Malaysia’s leading healthcare companies, today unveiled Pill Insight – the latest user-friendly mobile application (‘app’) for both Apple and Android mobile phones that helps women keep their contraceptive pill schedule in check.

Developed exclusively in Malaysia, the Pill Insight mobile application is a patient information application about contraception. “The mobile app helps women gain better understanding on birth control options,” explained David Lin, Market Access, Policy and Communications Director of MSD in Malaysia at the launch event. “Information is presented in an easy-to-understand format which includes illustrations on different types of contraception as well as pros and cons of each method.” The various contraceptive methods featured on the app include hormonal, barrier, emergency contraception, intrauterine device and sterilization. Users can navigate to each contraceptive method section in the app to find out more including the advantages and disadvantages of each method. There is also a section dedicated to explaining the myths and facts of oral contraceptive pills. Additionally, catering to all age group users, a Frequently-Ask-Questions (FAQs) section is added to address basic questions on contraception. “While the objective of this app is to educate, women are strongly encouraged to talk to their doctors or pharmacists as they are the best people to assess the suitability of each type of contraceptive for an individual,” added Lin.

“The oral contraceptive pill is one of the most effective methods of contraception available, with 99% effectiveness when used correctly1. First introduced in the early 1960s, there are now over 100 million women using oral contraceptive pills globally2,” said Professor Dr Jamiyah Binti Hassan, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist during the official launch event today.

According to Professor Dr Jamiyah, it is estimated that 7.2 million women in Malaysia or approximately 25% of the population falls in the reproductive age3,4. However, contraceptive usage was still relatively low, with only 55.6% of contraceptive prevalence rate in Malaysia as compared to neighboring countries in the region (in Singapore and Thailand, contraceptive usage rates were 65.7% and 79.4% respectively) in 20105. Because of this, women may end up having unplanned pregnancies.

Family planning achieved through the use of contraceptive methods is essential to secure the well-being and autonomy of women, while supporting the health and development of communities6. Family planning directly reduces the number of maternal deaths as it reduces the chance of pregnancy and the associated complications (exposure reduction), lowers the risk of having an unsafe abortion (vulnerability reduction), delays first pregnancy in young women who might have premature pelvic development, and reduces hazards of frailty from high parity and closely spaced pregnancies7.

“It is important that Malaysian women make informed decisions by referring to credible resources and consulting their doctors on contraception. Pill Insight app empowers women with information about contraception methods at their fingertips,” said Lin.

“MSD will embark on various on-ground campaign activities to promote Pill Insight including engaging social media and digital marketing, as well as distribution of information leaflets at retail pharmacies in major cities in Malaysia including Penang, Ipoh, Malacca, Klang Valley and Johor Bahru,” added Lin.