THE Philippines may have chalked up impressive economic growth but it ranks low when it comes to providing welfare to mothers and children, according to a report of an international aid organization.
The State of the World’s Mothers, an annual report published by Save the Children, said the country ranked 105th among 178 countries. The Philippines shared the spot with Uruguay.
In Southeast Asia, the country ranked fifth behind Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, and ahead of Timor Leste, Indonesia and Laos.
“The Philippines’ status relative to other countries in the Index appears to have deteriorated on four out of the five indicators. Despite (a) 30 percent drop in lifetime risk of maternal death and a 26 percent drop in under-five mortality, this means that other countries are making more progress—and faster,” the report said.
“Also affecting the ranking is the fact that children starting school today can expect to stay in school for slightly less time than children in 2000 and as a result, the Philippines’ relative rank on this indicator has fallen 30 spots, from 89th best in the world to 124th in the world on education,” it added.
The group said the increase in deaths among newborn babies in the first month of life may be attributed to Typhoon Yolanda.
The report noted that worldwide, women and children are more likely than men to die in a disaster, thus, the urgent need to increase access to healthcare in places where state capacity is weak and conflict and insecurity is widespread.
Ned Olney, Save the Children country director, explained that the Mother’s Index was based on the following indicators: lifetime risk of death among mothers, rate of death among children under five years old, educational achievement of children and economic and political status of women.