More Filipinas using contraceptives

Published by rudy Date posted on April 28, 2009

THE number of married Filipinas using contraceptives is increasing while the incidence of infant mortality in the Philippines is declining, the National Statistics reported yesterday.

The number of married women using any family planning method climbed to 51 percent in 2008, the agency says, citing the preliminary results of its 2008 National Demographic and Health Survey.

That was up from 47 percent in 1998 and 49 percent in 2003, the agency says.

“The increase in the contraceptive prevalence rate over the last decade, from 1998 to 2008, is statistically significant,” the agency said.

“However, the observed increase in the past five years is not significant.”

Thirty-four percent of the women surveyed said they used a modern method of family planning, with 16 percent opting for the pill and 9 percent choosing sterilization.

The use of the pill rose to 16 percent in last year’s survey from 13 percent in 2003, but the women using natural family planning methods like cervical mucus, ovulation, billings, standard days, and lactational amenorrhea comprised only 1 percent of all those surveyed.

Seventeen percent said they used the withdrawal and calendar or rhythm methods.

The survey had 14,000 households as respondents, and it was conducted from Aug. 7 to Sept. 27 last year. It was the ninth in a series of demographic surveys the agency has undertaken at five-year intervals since 1968.

The same survey says that for every 1,000 live births in the Philippines, 34 children die before reaching the age of five.

Still, this incidence of mortality has been declining gradually, or from 54 deaths in 1988-1992 to 40 in 1998-2002, and further down to 34 last year.

Infant mortality has also declined, and to 25 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2003-2007 from 35 in 1993-1997.

The Millennium Development Goals, agreed in 2000 by 189 nations including the Philippines, called for a reduction of the under-five morality rate by two-thirds, or 67 percent, between 1990 and 2015.

Using the 1993 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 National Statistics Office says.

“The 2008 estimate of 34 deaths per 1,000 live births represents a decrease of only 37 percent from the base estimate,” the agency said.

“Maternal and child health program implementers need to redouble efforts to achieve the desired MDG target on under-five mortality rate.”

The 2008 survey also indicated some improvement in maternal care.

About 91 percent of women with at least one live birth in the five years before the survey had received ante-natal care from a health professional compared with 88 percent in 2003.

Among all births in the five years preceding the 2008 survey, 62 percent were delivered by a health professional compared with 60 percent in 2003. –Roderick T. dela Cruz, Manila Standard Today

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