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Infant Mortality In The Philippine Healthcare System

1507 words - 7 pages

Health is a fundamental human right. A person’s employment, social or income status should not be the binding force in order to receive average healthcare at a relative cost. Unlike the United States, the Philippines is consumed by a majority of its people’s poverty. Especially in rural regions of the country, this poverty epidemic has led to malnutrition, homelessness and disease. Subsequently, when healthcare is needed, these individuals do not have the means or finances to seek assistance. This cycle of disparity has not only led to the loss of a person’s basic human right, but has also affected the livelihood of their children. This paper specifically outlines infant mortality rates in the Philippines, the populations at risk, risk factors surrounding this disparity, provider and nursing roles related to the Philippines healthcare delivery system, as well as strategies to help combat this disparity.
In the Philippines, based on the World Bank vital registration data, there were thirty infant deaths per one thousand live births. To further demonstrate this problem, the World Bank reports the United States as having only six infant deaths per one thousand live births (World Bank, 1995). After analyzing the data on over fifty countries listed on the World Bank Data Registration, it is evident that this is a global healthcare issue. On a macro-social level, it is apparent that the majority of countries with high rates of infant mortality shared similar characteristics such as small size, lack of governance and third world country ranking. In contrast, on a micro-social level, many socioeconomic factors have a significant impact on the capacity of individuals and families to satisfy their health needs. Poverty is one of the leading risk factors for infant mortality. About half of the Philippines population, consisting of eighty-eight million people, lives in rural areas. Poverty is most severe and widespread in these areas and almost eighty percent of the country’s poor people live there. Agriculture is the primary and often only source of income for poor rural people. In general illiteracy, unemployment and the incidence of poverty are higher among indigenous people and people living in the upland areas of the country. Overall, more than a third of the people in the Philippines live in poverty (IFAD). It is also important to recognize that personal lifestyle choices can also be contributing factors for this health disparity. Socioeconomic factors do not directly affect the risk of infant mortality, but rather, influence family behaviors which alter the child's exposure to pathogens or susceptibility to infection. For example, a more educated mother will more than likely follow up with her infant’s routine health visits. It is clear that these factors all contribute to the disparity of infant mortality that has become increasingly tolling on Filipino society.
According to Vital Statistics Division, a gross number of the infant mortalities...

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