MANILA, Sept. 19 (Xinhua) -- Death toll among Filipino children under five years of age continues to decline, the Philippine census office said Wednesday.
National Statistics Office Administrator Carmelita Ericta said that in the 2011 Family Health Survey (FHS), an estimated 30 children for every 1,000 live births in the country would likely die before reaching age five.
But she said that the estimated under-five mortality rate (U- 5MR) in 2011 was lower than the estimated deaths per 1,000 live births based on the 2006 Family Planning Survey (FPS).
"Under-five mortality levels in the Philippines continue to improve, falling from 64 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1993 to 40 deaths in 2003. Estimates for U-5MR make reference to the 5- year period prior to the year the survey was conducted. The latest estimate refers to the period 2007-2011," Ericta said.
Similarly, she said that the estimate of infant mortality rate (IMR) or the probability of a child born on a specified year and dying before reaching the age of one year declined to 22 deaths per 1,000 live births based on the 2011 FHS from 24 deaths per 1, 000 live births in 2006 FPS. From 38 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1993, the IMR also dropped to 29 deaths in 2003.
Current levels of both infant and under-five mortality in the Philippines reflect progress in government efforts in improving the health conditions of children, the official said.
"If the trend will continue, the country will be able to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) or reducing the national U-5MR by two-thirds or only 19 deaths per 1,000 live births," she added.
The 2011 FHS is a nationwide survey of 53,162 sample households. A total of 52,769 women of reproductive age (15-49 years old) were interviewed to collect data on fertility, family planning practice, maternal and child health and maternal and child mortality.