11 June 2009
Government surveys show that the Philippines achieved only a 22 percent reduction in maternal deaths over a decade, the Manila-based BusinessWorld reported. The country recorded 162 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births in 2006 and the Philippines is not likely to meet its Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target of reducing the maternal mortality ratio to 52 by the year 2015.
"While 92% of the rich can avail of delivery by skilled health professionals, only 25% of mothers in the lower social bracket have access to the same services," UNFPA Representative in Manila Suneeta Mukherjee said. She further stressed that most women who have pregnancy-related complications and are unable to reach health facilities belong to the poorest of the poor.
Eighty-seven percent of those who use the services of skilled birth attendants (such as midwives, nurses and doctors with midwifery skills) have college degrees, while another 10% have either low or no educational background.
Similarly, 73% of those who deliver in health facilities (hospitals or clinics) have a college education, while 6% do not. Geographical disparities on health indicators among women of reproductive age could be observed in resource-poor regions of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, other regions in Mindanao, Eastern Visayas, Bicol and Mimaropa (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan).