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Southeast Asian Journal of Tropical Medicine and Public Health. 1982 Sep; 13(3):464-8.The Philippines' population is largely rural and 50% of the population is in the 0-14 age group. The leading health problems are communicable diseases, malnutrition, poor sanitation, malaria, and schistosomiasis, rapid population growth, drug abuse, and drug dependence. Infant and child mortality rates are high (68/l000), probably due to the prevalence of malnutrition and nutritionally-related infections. There is a shortage of health personnel with 23% of posts for physicians and 64% for nurses vacant in 1972. The government has attempted to correct this situation by training paramedical personnel; the concept of utilizing older children in primary health care delivery was introduced in 1972. In 1982 there are 2 on-going child-to-child programs, in San Luis and Cebu. The group in San Luis involved 3 barangays with 200-340 households each and estimated children aged 9-14 numbering about 450-600/barangay. The older school children were prepared for some specific health activities such as nutrition information and assessment, home and environmental sanitation, family planning awareness, and oral rehydration for diarrhea. Since 1979, 400 preschoolers in 3 barangays were followed up and weighed regularly by student leaders, and environmental sanitation and family planning awareness have improved. More communities have not implemented these programs because: 1) most physicians who would like to do this have no base of population to work with; 2) most Filipino children, because of their poor education, would not be able to perform these tasks; and 3) there is very little health education taught in schools to motivate the children to participate in such a program.