MANILA, Philippines - The National Statistics Office (NSO) on Thursday cited it has noted a decrease in the deaths of children before they reach age five.
Based on the latest 2011 Family Health Survey (FHS), there is an estimated 30 out of 1,000 live births in the country who will likely pass away before reaching five years old. This is lower than the estimated deaths per 1,000 live births based on the 2006 Family Planning Survey (FPS).
"Under-five mortality levels in the Philippines continue to improve, falling from 64 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1993 to 40 deaths in 2003. Estimates for U-5MR make reference to the five-year period prior to the year the survey was conducted. The latest estimate refers to the period 2007 to 2011," said NSO Administrator Carmelita Ericta.
Similarly, estimate of infant mortality rate (IMR) or the probability of a child born on a specified year and dying before reaching the age of one year declined to 22 deaths per 1,000 live births based on the 2011 FHS from 24 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2006 FPS. From 38 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1993, the IMR also dropped to 29 deaths in 2003.
Among the regions in the country, the National Capital Region (NCR) exhibited the lowest IMR of only 14 deaths per 1,000 live births and U-5 MR of 20 deaths per 1,000 live births. On the other hand, Eastern Visayas recorded the highest IMR of 40 deaths per 1,000 live births and U-5 MR of 53 deaths per 1,000 live births.
Current levels of both infant and under-five mortality in the Philippines reflect progress in the government efforts of improving the health conditions of children. If the trend will continue, the country should be able to achieve the Millennium Development Goals or reducing the national U-5MR by two-thirds or only 19 deaths per 1,000 live births, the NSO noted.