Indirect Estimation of Maternal Mortality in the Philippines: National, Regional and Provincial Levels

by Leslie del Puerto Escalada, Master of Arts in Demography (2004)

There is a scarcity of information regarding maternal mortality in the Philippi9nes because of the unavailability of reliable date that will yield and indicator specifically at subpopulation level. Although efforts have been undertaken to measure the phenomenon for both program implementation and monitoring, still, new methods of estimation must be explored given the scarcity of reliable data for maternal mortality. The immediate objective of this study is to indirectly estimate the maternal mortality ratio in the Philippines including its regions and provinces from 1990 to 2000 by applying the methods of Blum and Fargues (Population Studies 1990 and Fargues (1994) to Philippine life tables from 1990 to 2000 at the national levels and from 1990 to 1995 at the national, regional and provincial levels.

The two indirect methods used in the study are the method of the “sex ratio” of mortality and the method of the slope of women’s mortality. Findings show that the values obtained from the ”sex ratio” of mortality method are biased in terms of levels when compared to other independent estimates; the “sex ratio” of mortality method is therefore not a robust technique for estimating Philippine maternal mortality. However, the values yielded using the method of slope of women’s mortality were somehow reasonable for some of the regions and provinces, at least. The national maternal mortality ratios obtained from this study falls around 200 per 100,000 women, a value quite close to the values yielded by the Sisterhood method and by using the Boerma’s method (Cabigon, 1996).

The results from this exercise are additional sources of independent indirect estimates of maternal mortality ratios especially at the regional and provincial levels. It is recommended that the slop of women’s mortality technique be applied once life tables are available at the national, regional and provincial levels after 1995.