Health Secretary Enrique Ona said this in a speech Wednesday, April 23, during a health forum on reducing maternal and child mortality rates in line with the Millennium Development Goals (MDG).
5 critical areas
He noted that provisions not struck down by the Court “provide the necessary health policies and directives” for the 5 critical areas needed to end preventable child deaths worldwide:
High-burden populations and geography. Ona said the law prioritizes services for high-burden populations and vulnerable groups identified through various government efforts, among them, the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction.
Gender equality. The law also establishes RH rights and provides “age- and development-appropriate RH education to adolescents," said Ona.
Mutual accountability. The long RH battle in Congress and the Supreme Court brought in political support and dialogue from civil society organizations which include not only non-governmental and people’s organizations, but even faith-based ones, Ona noted.
File photo by Rappler
Aside from the RH law, Ona said the 1987 Constitution already requires the government to protect lives and end preventable child and maternal deaths.
Reduction of under-5 mortality rates worldwide is one of the 8 MDGs which countries aim to achieve by 2015.
The Philippines is likely to attain the 4th MDG, according to Health Assistant Secretary Paulyn Ubial.
"Of the infant and under-5 mortality, we are on track in terms of attaining the target of 2015 which is 19 per 1,000 live births. Currently, we are 22 for infant mortality and 30 for under-5 mortality. And our target is 19 for infant [mortality], and 27 for under-5 mortality,” Ubial said on Wednesday, April 23, citing numbers from the 2011 Family Health Survey.
According to Unicef, this means before their 5th birthday, 18,000 children worldwide died every day in 2012, while a total of 216 million children worldwide died since 1990.
On the brighter side, global efforts have saved the lives of 90 million children for the past 22 years.
However, the UN agency said faster progress is needed, otherwise the world will not meet the 4th goal until 2028, or 13 years after the 2015 deadline. – Rappler.com
Jee is part of Rappler's Central Desk, handling most of the world, science, and environment stories on the site. She enjoys listening to podcasts and K-pop, watching Asian dramas, and running long distances. She hopes to visit Israel someday to retrace the steps of her Savior.