Improved child mortality rates in Metro Manila seen – survey
MANILA, Philippines – An improvement was seen in Metro Manila as prevalence of child mortality has been halved over a period of 15 years, a latest study by Save the Children revealed.
The metropolis is part of a list that includes 6 cities hailed by the non-governmental organization in its 16th State of the World’s Mothers report. The 6 cities include: Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, Cairo in Egypt, Kampala in Uganda, Guatemala City in Guatemala, Delhi in India, and Phnom Penh in Cambodia.
According to the report, child mortality among families suffering from poverty in Metro Manila dropped to 38 deaths per 1,000 lives in 2009 from 1993’s 81. It is estimated that it achieved a 4-point reduction annually over the course of 15 years.
Meanwhile, the Philippines’ average under-5 mortality rate since 2013 is at 29.9 per 1,000 lives.
Improvement in urban setting?
The child survival gap has also been significantly reduced – especially in the urban seting.
The report found that in 2015, the poorest urban child is twice as likely to die compared to his wealthy counterpart. The gap was previously estimated to be at 4 times.
Save the Children said the improvement is the “combined result of several factors.” These include the local government units’ effort in improving the quality of basic social services, maternal services, public-private partnerships, investment in health workers, and policy reforms, among others.
These innovations were said to be “unique to the capital region.”
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)’s flagship project – the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) – was also hailed in its contribution to the improvement.
Under 4Ps, poor households are given the chance to improve their lives through monthly cash grants amounting to as much as P1,400 ($32)* for health, nutrition, and educational needs.
However, the country’s social protection program has been the subject of criticism that questioned its effectiveness and increasing annual budget. (READ: Lawmakers question DSWD’s conditional cash transfer program)
Metro Manila’s undernourished
Together with the decline of child deaths is the consistent low prevalence of undernourishment among children under 5 years old.
According to the Oplan Timbang (OTP) Plus results of the National Nutrition Council (NNC), the National Capital Region (NCR) has the lowest number of children suffering from undernutrition. (READ: Makati, Taguig lead NCR cities in fight vs malnutrition)
With 13% prevalence, it is almost 7 points lower than the country average of 19%. – Rappler.com