Pinoy Families are Getting Healthier (Results from the 2017 National Demographic and Health Survey)

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Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Families in the Philippines are getting healthier according to the newly released 2017 Philippines National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS). The NDHS 2017 is the sixth Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) conducted in the Philippines since 1993. The survey results highlight major improvements in family planning, child survival, and maternal health care, while progress has been slower in basic vaccination coverage, HIV testing, and violence against women. 

More than half of married women age 15-49 use a method of family planning – 40% use a modern method and 14% use a traditional method. The pill is the most popular modern method, while withdrawal is the most popular traditional method (10%). More women are using family planning. Modern method use has increased from 25% in 1993 to 40% in 2017.

More children in the Philippines are surviving early childhood than ever before as under-5 mortality has sharply declined. Currently, the under-5 mortality rate is 27 deaths per 1,000 live births, a decline from 54 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1993. This means that approximately 1 in every 37 children in the Philippines does not survive until their fifth birthday.

Antenatal care coverage in Philippines is improving. Nearly all women age 15-49 receive antenatal care from a skilled provider such as a doctor, nurse, or midwife. Additionally, 87% of women are attending four or more antenatal care visits, a notable increase from just 55% of women in 1993. Health facility deliveries have nearly tripled since 1993, from 28% to 78% in 2017. Still, 1 in 5 births are delivered at home, putting mothers and babies at risk. Postnatal care helps prevent complications after childbirth. More than 80% of both women and newborns receive a postnatal check within two days after delivery.

While the NDHS 2017 reports progress in many areas, challenges remain. Basic vaccination coverage has fluctuated over time, rising from 72% in 1993 to 80% in 2008 before declining to 70% in 2017. Still, 7 in 10 children age 12-23 months in the Philippines have received all basic vaccinations.

Nearly all women age 15-49 in the Philippines have heard of HIV/AIDS, but less than half know where to get an HIV test. Only 4% of women have ever been tested for HIV and received their results.

The NDHS 2017 provides insights into violence against women. In the Philippines, more than 1 in 4 ever-married women age 15-49 have experienced spousal violence, whether physical, sexual, or emotional. Ever-married women’s experience of spousal violence has changed little since 2008.

Overall, 27,496 households and 25,074 women age 15-49 were successfully interviewed in the NDHS 2017. The NDHS 2017 provides estimates at the national level, for urban and rural areas, and for each of the 17 administrative regions in the Philippines.

The NDHS 2017 was implemented by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). Funding for the NDHS 2017 was provided by the Government of the Philippines. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) provided technical assistance and equipment through ICF under The DHS Program, a project that assists countries in the collection of data to monitor and evaluate population, health, and nutrition programs. Additional information about the NDHS 2017 may be obtained from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), PSA Complex, East Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines; Telephone: +63- (02)-462-6600; Email:; Internet:



National Statistician and Civil Registrar General