Under-Five Mortality Down to 34 Deaths per 1,000 Births (Preliminary Results from the 2008 National Demographic and Health Survey)

Reference Number: 

2009-030

Release Date: 

Monday, April 27, 2009

 

In the Philippines, for every 1,000 live births, 34 die before reaching the age of five years, according to the 2008 National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS). The findings from the current and previous NDHSs reveal that under-five mortality rate in the country had declined gradually, from 54 deaths per 1,000 live births during the period 1988-1992 to 40 deaths per 1,000 live births in the period 1998-2002, and further down to its current level at 34 deaths per 1,000 live births (Table 1). The infant mortality rate in the country also declined, from 35 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in the period 1993-1997 to 25 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2003-2007.

The Millennium Development Goals (MDG) agreed in 2000 by 189 nations, including the Philippines, calls for a reduction of the under-five morality rate by two-thirds or 67 percent between 1990 and 2015. Using the 1993 NDS under-five mortality rate of 54 deaths per 1,000 live births as base estimate, the Philippines should aim at reducing the under-five mortality rate to 18 deaths or less per thousand live births by 2015. The 2008 NDHS estimate (34 deaths per 1,000 live births) represents a decrease of only 37 percent from the base estimate. Maternal and child health program implementers need to redouble efforts to achieve the desired MDG target on under-five mortality rate.

Preliminary results of the 2008 NDHS indicate some improvement in maternal care. About 91 percent of women with at least one live birth in the 5 years prior to the 2008 NDHS had received antenatal care from a health professional compared to 88 percent of the women based on the 2003 NDHS (Table 2). Among all births in the 5 years preceding the 2008 NDHS, 62 percent were delivered by a health professional compared to 60 percent reported in the 2003 NDHS. Vaccination coverage also improved in the last 5 years. The percentage of children 12-23 months who received, at any time before the survey, full vaccination against six preventable diseases namely, tuberculosis, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, poliomyelitis, and measles, increased from 70 percent in 2003 to 80 percent in 2008 (Table 3).

The 2008 NDHS is a nationally representative survey of almost 14,000 households and 14,000 women 15-49, conducted from August 7 to September 27, 2008. The 2008 NDHS is the ninth in a series of demographic surveys undertaken by the National Statistics Office at five-year intervals since 1968. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) provided funding assistance for some activities during the preparatory and processing phases of the 2008 NDHS. Macro International provided technical assistance to the project.

Other important preliminary findings of the 2008 NDHS will be presented in a data dissemination forum on April 28, 2009. The final report on the survey findings will be published in the last quarter of 2009.

 

                                                                                                       (Sgd.) CARMELITA N. ERICTA
                                                                                                                    Administrator

 


Table 1.  Trends in childhood mortality rates, with standard errors and confidence intervals, Philippines
 

 
 Survey Year  Approximate
 calendar period 
Infant mortality Under-five mortality
 Rate 
 Standard 
Error
95%
Confidence
Interval
 Rate 
 Standard 
Error
95%
Confidence
Interval
 Lower 
bound
 Upper 
bound
 Lower 
bound
 Upper 
bound
1993 1988-1992 33.6 - - - 54.2 - - -
1998 1993-1997 35.1 2.3 30.5 39.7 48.4 2.8 42.7 54.1
2003 1998-2002 28.7 2.3 24.1 33.3 39.9 2.8 34.4 45.5
2008 2003-2007 24.9 2.1 20.7 29.1 33.5 2.5 28.6 38.5

Sources:    1993 National Demographic Survey, 1998, 2003 and 2008 National Demographic and Health Surveys
 
 

Table 2.  Selected maternal care indicators, Philippines: 2003 and 2008 NDHS
 

     Indicators           2003           2008     
Percentage of women age 15-49 with one or more live births in the 5 years before the survey who received antenatal care for the youngest child from a health professional1 87.6 91.0
Percentage deliv ered by a health professional among all births in the 5 years before the survey 59.8 61.8
Percentage delivered in a health facility among all births in the 5 years before the survey 37.9 43.8
     
1 Doctor, nurse, or midwife    



 

Table 3.  Percentage of children age 12-23 months who received specific vaccines at any time before the survey, Philippines: 2003 and 2008 NDHS
 

     Vaccinations           2003           2008     
BCG 90.8 93.9
DPT 1 89.9 92.5
DPT 2 85.9 89.6
DPT 3 78.9 85.5
Polio 1 91.3 92.4
Polio 2 87.3 90.0
Polio 3 79.8 85.2
Measles 79.7 84.4
All 69.8 79.5
No vaccinations 7.3 5.6


 

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