With or without dengue, many Filipino children are dying

A health professionals group, Health Alliance for Democracy (HEAD), this week warned the Filipino public to be alert on what the Department of Health (DoH) is not saying. The warning was issued following an announcement by the DoH that the season of dengue – which kills several children every year – is over.

In a press statement, HEAD said the health department ignores the fact that the Philippines’ infant mortality continues to rise. The infant mortality rate of 29 percent per 1,000 live births (or under-5 mortality rate of 40 per 1,000 live births), ranks among the highest in Southeast Asia. “An even greater number of children die before they reach the age of five years,” HEAD added. Only 59 percent of births are attended by health professionals, and around 10 mothers die every day due to pregnancy and childbirth-related causes.

Belying the government claim that health is a top priority, the group asked Health Secretary Francisco Duque III why he was only asking for a mere P10.575 billion budget for next year. (Bulatlat.com)

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