Breastfeeding, Immunization, and Child Mortality

Reference Number: 


Release Date: 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

What is the status of breastfeeding among children aged 6-35 months?

Breastfeeding, particularly during the first six months of infancy, conveys significant immunological, and nutritional benefits on infants.

  • The 2011 Family Health Survey (FHS) results indicate that 92% of children in the Philippines age 6-35 months old had been breastfed at some time.
  • Only 27% were exclusively breastfed.
  • A higher percentage of poor children (34%) than non-poor children (24%) were exclusively breastfed.
  • Children in the Cordillera Administrative Region were the most likely to be exclusively breastfed.
  • Children in CALABARZON were the least likely to be exclusively breastfed.


What is the vaccination coverage of children aged 12-23 months?

It is very important that children are immunized against the vaccine-preventable diseases: tuberculosis, poliomyelitis, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, hepatitis B, and measles.

In addition to the six basic vaccines, the standard immunization schedule in the Philippines includes three doses of hepatitis B vaccine. The Mandatory Infants and Child Health Immunization Act of 2011 requires that all infants be given the first dose of Hepatitis B vaccine within 24 hours after birth.

  • According to the 2011 FHS, nine out of 10 (90.9%) Filipino children 12 to 23 months old have received six basic vaccinations – BCG, measles, and 3 doses each of DPT and polio vaccines – at any time before the survey.
  • Children in poor households (88.2%) are less likely than those in non-poor households (92.6%) to have been vaccinated against the six preventable childhood diseases.
  • More than half (57.2%) of children age 12 to 23 months had received the first dose of Hepatitis B vaccine at birth.
  • Children in non-poor households (64.2%) are more likely than those in poor households (46.0%) to receive the first dose of Hepatitis B vaccine at birth.


How many children die before reaching age 5?

Infant mortality or death within the first year of life and under-five mortality or death before age 5 measure the impact of maternal and child health programs.

  • In the Philippines, 22 for every 1,000 live births die before reaching one year of age, and 30 children die before reaching 5 years old.
  • Infant mortality and under-five mortality are lower in urban areas than in rural areas.
  • With the rate at which infant mortality and under-five mortality are declining between 2003 to 2011 the MDG goal of reducing these rates by two-thirds can be achieved in 2015.
  • Infant mortality rate at 22 per 1,000 live birth is only 3 deaths more than the 19 deaths per 1,000 live births targeted for 2015.
  • Under-five mortality rate at 30 per 1,000 live births is only 3.3 deaths away from the 26.7 deaths per 1,000 live births targeted for 2015.