Study shows child death rate in Metro Manila down by 50%
Metro Manila was hailed as one of seven cities in the world which had cut child mortality by half, the results of a recently released study showed.
In the 16th State of the World’s Mothers’ global index published by nongovernment organization Save the Children, child mortality among urban poor families in Metro Manila had been cut in half, from 81 deaths per 1,000 lives in 1993 to 38 deaths per 1,000 lives in 2008.
The results of the study also showed that children in urban poor families were twice likely to die than their more affluent peers, cutting the child survival gap by half.
According to the study, initiatives made by various sectors have contributed to the lowering of child mortality among urban poor families in Metro Manila.
“Manila’s progress is the combined result of many factors, including improved quality of services, special programs for mothers and children, public-private partnerships, investments in frontline health workers, structural reforms and healthcare innovations introduced to the local government units,” the study said.
However, despite the slashing of child mortality in the nation’s capital, the study said that due to low income and limited resources, Filipinos were still faced with the struggle of accessing basic social services. Rising cost of healthcare despite policy reforms also hinder Filipinos from accessing health services.
Save the Children country director Ned Olney hailed the results of the study, saying closing the gap between the rich and the poor in terms of child mortality was attainable.
“The progress we have seen in the past two decades shows that closing the child survival gap between rich and the poor is attainable. But cities need to keep up with the breakneck growth as thousands of mothers and children in cities still have limited access to essential health services, food and clean water they need to survive and stay healthy,” Olney said.
He urged the government to strictly implement “maternal, child and newborn health care programs, including infant and young child feeding and increased local government investment to trainings for frontline health workers.”
Aside from Manila, other cities which posted significant gains in curbing child mortality rates were Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, Cairo in Egypt, Kampala in Uganda, Guatemala City in Guatemala and Phnom Penh in Cambodia.
Citing 2010 data, the National Statistics Office said one in five infants who were dying in the country came from the National Capital Region or 13 percent of the country population.
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