Bayer empowers women on family planning to mark World Contraception Day 2018
In conjunction with World Contraception Day celebrated on September 26, a technology-driven chatbot called, ‘ASK MAYA’ was launched at Strangers Café @ 47, Petaling Jaya on September 20, 2018, which is supported by a coalition of 17 international partners and sponsored by Bayer.
The Managing Director of Bayer Co. (Malaysia), Jennifer Yong commented regarding Bayer’s involvement on this issue, “Bayer has a long history in women’s health and we have been supporting family planning programs for more than 50 years. Today’s launch of our chatbot, ‘ASK MAYA’, takes our efforts to the next level in sync with modern technology.”
Present at the launch together with members of the media was Dr. John Teo, Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist and member of the Medical Committee of Federation of Reproductive Health Association Malaysia (FRHAM), who spoke on family planning, sexual and reproductive health shared, “Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (CPR) in Malaysia is 55% for all methods and for modern methods, it is only at 35%. What is of concern is that the rate has not improved over the last 20 years!” He further explained, “Therefore, the challenge of addressing reproductive health issues remains enormous.
The 5th Malaysian Family and Population survey conducted in 2014 reported that on average, only 40% to 60% of our adolescents and young adults are aware of basic reproductive knowledge. It is a
lso essential that women learn more about contraceptive methods and clear any misconceptions they may have.”
According to the Deputy Chairperson of the Malaysian Pharmaceutical Society (MPS) – Young Pharmacist Chapter, Cedric Chua Chong Jie, “Women are generally shy when it comes to intimate topics. Our role is to encourage them to be brave while empowering as many pharmacists as possible to reach out to these women with the right information. “ASK MAYA’ definitely promotes positive interactions on family planning in today’s setting.”
Chua further added, “We are pleased with the outcome of the ‘3-minute Oral Contraceptive Counselling’ program that Bayer has initiated. This program helps to address the current challenges pharmacists face in providing oral contraceptive counselling. To date, nearly 1000 pharmacists are trained nationwide by key O&G experts in collaboration with MPS and FRHAM. This program will continue into 2019 with online Continuing Professional Development (CPD) modules, workshop and certifications.”
Representing Bayer’s Women’s Health Care team is Shasila Nadarajan who is thrilled about this latest innovation. She shared, “We are pleased to introduce ‘MAYA’ as your new BFF, best friend for family planning, and importantly, calling all young women to be empowered to make informed decisions on contraceptive choices. ‘MAYA’ is described as ‘hot’ and ‘chic’ and is relevant to today’s women as we want to discuss a taboo topic with the objective of educating women on this topic. We will continue our passion in driving Women’s Health and empowering women by harnessing our collaboration with MPS and FRHAM.”
Among the members of the media present was a lovely mother of two, Rane Chin. She is among the modern Malaysian women who take family planning seriously. In sharing a user’s perspective on “ASK MAYA’, Chin who is also a blogger commented, “We live in modern times where conversations on family planning are no longer taboo. As empowered women, we embrace the different alternatives available in order to make informed decisions on planning for children or avoiding unwanted pregnancies. Now, with “ASK MAYA’, we will also have the chance to explore family planning in a holistic manner without feeling embarrassed or shy. ‘MAYA’ is certainly our new BFF.’
The event ended with a slogan competition using the ‘MAYA’ chatbot won by three lucky winners who carried home a hamper each. The top winner was Pn. Nur Reza Zurien from the Malaysian Women’s Weekly and her winning slogan was:
“See the thing I’m holding? Honestly, I can never remember what it’s called because my family planning style is au natural. But now I can #Ask MAYA quickly and easily when I need to find out anything about family planning. While I’ve just followed God’s plans for me, family planning is important to me because it ensures quality of life for me and my family.”
“I WANT TO KNOW BUT WHO DO I ASK? SHY LAH?”
YOU CAN ASK MAYA!
MAYA! MAYA! MAYA!
Just Who Is MAYA?
Hi, I Am MAYA