Improving Health Outcomes Especially for the Poor


Health improvements among poor Filipinos lag behind the rest of the nation.

Despite population-wide improvements in infant and child survival, poor Filipinos lag behind in benefiting from these improvements. The infant mortality rate among households in the poorest quintile is 2.3 times higher compared to those from the richest quintile. Likewise, the under-five mortality rate is 2.7 times higher among the poorest quintile than the richest. The inequality is also evident in differences in the health-seeking behavior of different income groups. The 1998 Department of Health data reveal that over 90% of women in the poorest quintile were exposed to the higher risks of their babies being delivered by traditional birth attendants at home, while women in the richest quintile secured lower risks from having deliveries attended by doctors and in hospitals or private facilities. Lagging health improvements in some regions provide another indicator of inequities in health outcomes. For example, life expectancy of adults in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) in 2000 is just at the comparable national level reached in 1970, indicating that in this important measure of health outcomes, the ARMM is at least 30 years behind the rest of the country.

Source InstitutionWorld Bank
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Page Count8
Place of PublicationPasig City
Original Publication Date