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Related Local Studies

In a study “Factors Affecting Maternal Utilization in the Philippines” conducted by Rogan

and Olvena in 2002, despite the difficulty in exploring trends in the utilization of
maternity care services using cross-sectional survey, revealed that in general, coverage
of utilization of maternity care services (prenatal, delivery, postnatal) showed a
consistent trend over the years. Access to trained prenatal care providers is much
greater among women with some college education than among those with lower
education. The choice of attendant during delivery is associated with the mother’s
characteristics particularly the age and parity. Urbanity, age and parity are the most
significant factors affecting the utilization of postnatal services. In addition, the quality of
health care remains wanting in many areas. Some health facilities have deteriorated
and poor quality services exist. Low quality drugs and medicines are present in the
market. These have been attributed partly to the weak enforcement of health
regulations. In this regard, a quality improvement program for all health facilities and
services at all levels of the health care system must be pursued. Regulatory capabilities,
systems and procedures will be upgraded and strengthened. The support of all
stakeholders in the initiatives to attain quality care should also be strengthened and



Rouselle F. Lavado∗
Philippine Institute for Development Studies
Makati City, Philippines
Leizel P. Lagrada
Department of Health
Manila, Philippines

While the national average for maternal and child health services utilization
shows improvement, the Philippines is yet to achieve the MDG targets for
maternal and child health.
This study shows that while the uptake of maternal and child health
programs has been reasonably satisfactory, focus on the poor remains very
low. There are also vast differences in patterns of utilization among regions.
It is possible that health indicators in the aggregate level might have been
showing improvement but when the outcomes are disaggregated according
to wealth quintiles and regions, it is likely that only those in the richest
quintile show improvements while the poor are left out.
This study shows inequality in maternal and child health services utilization
across economic classes and across regions. Moreover, based on regional
Gini coefficient, there are various patterns of utilization and concentration of
services across living standards. Interventions to increase the uptake of
maternal and child health services based on these patterns are