THE Philippines is among the top 10 countries in the world where there is great inequality in newborn deaths between the richest and poorest populations, according to a Save the Children study entitled, Ending Newborn Deaths: Ensuring Every Baby Survives, which was launched over the weekend.
Thus, the children’s aid agency said that “by implementing the Reproductive Health Law and allowing women and adolescent girls to have access to reproductive health services and information, the lives of these women, adolescent girls and their newborns can be saved. This is crucial especially now when the incidence of teen pregnancy in the country is increasing.“
The non-government organization urged the country to tackle inequality in healthcare access and the underlying causes of newborn deaths—including maternal undernutrition and ill-access to reproductive health services—and prevention of teen pregnancies to achieve a reduction in newborn deaths.
The report revealed that 2.2 million children die at birth or in the first day of life; half of these deaths could be prevented if the mother and baby had free healthcare, birth attendance is done by a skilled midwife and quality reproductive health services were available.
“Less than 30 per cent of the babies in the poorest sector of the Philippines are delivered by a skilled birth attendant, compared to nearly 100 per cent in the richest economic bracket,” said Ned Olney, country director of Save the Children.