Child Malnutrition and the Provision of Water and Sanitation in the Philippines
Jose Cuesta ()
Journal of the Asia Pacific Economy, 2007, vol. 12, issue 2, 125-157
The prospects for achieving the Millennium Development Goal on nutrition are predicted to be bleak in the Philippines. These predictions, however, take no account of the interactions between nutritional and sanitary interventions. These interactions are reported to matter in the Philippines and elsewhere, but evidence is far from conclusive. Using a nationwide demographic survey, this paper employs two alternative estimation techniques (probits and propensity matching scores) to quantify such relations among Filipino households. The results confirm that water and sanitation provision have a positive effect on nutritional status, but these effects are not substantial. Community-based piped water provision and flush toilets have the greatest potential to reduce malnutrition. Household access to point source water and latrines are more likely to reduce the probability of birth malnutrition among poor households than other public infrastructure. Such interactions, however, cannot substitute for improving the coverage and quality of overall health and nutrition interventions.
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