Metro Manila (CNN Philippines Life) — Don’t let the sexually progressive posts on social media fool you: reproductive health is still considered very much a taboo in the Philippines. Remember how much of a struggle it was to pass the RH Bill during the Aquino administration? To some, it’s still embarrassing to go to the pharmacy and ask for birth control pills or condoms. The stigma of being ‘found out’ deters many people from accessing the proper channels when it comes to reproductive health, buying their pills on time, or engaging in safe sex. This could lead to unwanted pregnancies or contracting sexually transmitted infections.
The ubiquity of online purchasing seems poised to counteract this hindrance in getting access to reproductive health channels. If you can get everything online, why not contraceptives?
The online pharmacy Dima was launched earlier this year to address this need. According to Julia Cu Unjieng, who co-founded the online pharmacy with her brother Carlo, Dima really took off during the Enhanced Community Quarantine as people were looking for alternative ways to buy birth control pills and other reproductive health products.
“The motivation [to start Dima] comes from being a woman in this country and understanding the difficulties surrounding reproductive health… the gaps in our education, how to avail of certain products and services,” says Cu Unjieng.
On Dima, you can also book consultations with doctors and get prescriptions. The products are carefully packaged. “We get a lot of emails saying thank you for being so discreet with your packaging, with your [delivery] because I still have to hide from my family that I take birth control pills,” says Julia.
Though many of their customers have an idea of family planning and reproductive health issues, Julia is hoping that the consultation services can help people who are only starting to take interest in their sexual health.
Watch the interview with Julia here to know more about Dima.
Visit the Dima website for a more detailed listing of their products and services.