The preliminary results of the 2013 National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) indicate some improvement in delivery care in the Philippines. In particular, the findings unveil an increase in facility-based deliveries and in births delivered by health professionals (Table 1). Among all births in the 5 years preceding the 2013 NDHS, 60 percent were delivered in a health facility. This is higher than the figure reported in the 2008 NDHS, which is 44 percent. Moreover, the percentage of births delivered by a health professional increased from 62 percent in 2008 to 73 percent in 2013. There is still a need to further improve and strengthen the implementation of the National Safe Motherhood Program by Department of Health in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goal target by 2015 at 100 percent2.
The percentage of births delivered in a health facility varied from 12.0 percent for ARMM to 76.0 for NCR. Eight of the 17 regions posted remarkable increase in the percentage of facility-based deliveries (Table 1). These were Eastern Visayas, SOCCSKSARGEN, Central Visayas, Ilocos Region, Caraga, Cordillera Administrative Region, Cagayan Valley, and Bicol Region.
Meanwhile, only three regions had significant increase in the percentage of births with skilled attendants. These include Eastern Visayas (from 43 percent in 2008 to 67 percent in 2013), SOCCSKSARGEN (from 36 percent in 2008 to 56 percent in 2013) and CAR (from 67 percent in 2008 to 85 percent in 2013).
There is no improvement in delivery care in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). Only 12 percent of births in ARMM were delivered in a health facility in 2013 as compared to 15 percent in 2008; while only 20 percent of births were delivered by a skilled attendant in 2013 as compared to 19 percent in 2008. In MIMAROPA, the percentage of births delivered by a health professional also remains at about 40 percent (39 percent in 2008 and 41 percent in 2013).
The results also show that antenatal care has improved over the past two decades. The percentage with antenatal care from a health professional increased from 83 percent in 1993, to 88 percent in 2003, and 95 percent in 2013. Moreover, from 52 percent in 1993, the percentage of women with four or more antenatal care (ANC) visits for the most recent live birth rose to 70 percent in 2003 and 84 percent in 2013 (Table 2).
The 2013 NDHS is a nationally representative survey of almost 16,000 households and 19,000 women age 15-49. The survey was conducted from August 12 to October 16, 2013. The 2013 NDHS is the tenth in a series of demographic surveys undertaken by the National Statistics Office at five-year intervals since 1968. ICF-International through the MEASURE DHS program of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) provided technical assistance to the project.
Other important preliminary findings of the 2013 NDHS will be presented in a data dissemination forum in April 2014.