Quito, Ecuador, Jan 22, 2010 / 04:02 am
A Planned Parenthood partner in Ecuador is using youth as young as 11 to deliver the contraceptive injection Depo-Provera as part of a “peer-to-peer” model. Critics said it was a “dangerous” program that undermined parental authority, corrupted youth and would be illegal in the United States.
Veena Siddharth, the vice president for international programs for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), and Dee Redwine, PPFA Latin America regional director, wrote about the program in a Dec. 15 article in Global Health Magazine. Planned Parenthood operates the program through a partnership with the Ecuadoran group, Centro Medico de Orientacion y Planificacion Familiar (CEMOPLAF).
“What if I told you that Juan, a community health care worker in rural Ecuador, is providing injectable contraceptives outside the clinic setting to indigenous community members?” the article begins. “What if I told you that Juan is actually a 15-year-old and the clients he’s reaching are also youth?”
The article says that Juan is one of about 30 young people ages 11 to 19 who receive training in “introduction to injections in general, training in Depo Provera in particular” and in biological safety procedures. The teens also distribute other contraceptives, including birth control pills and condoms.