The Problem

  • Childhood illness and malnutrition are significant problems in the Philippines. While the infant mortality rate has declined, morbidity rates from pneumonia, diarrhea, and measles are still high.
  • Vitamin A deficiency is a public health problem in the Philippines with prevalence rates of 38%
  • Access to basic eye care services in the Philippines is lacking.

What HKI Is Doing

Helen Keller International has been working in the Philippines since 1975 and has had a major presence since 1986. HKI currently provides technical assistance to the Government of the Philippines (GOP) in the following program areas: 

Vitamin A Supplementation
Helen Keller International played a critical role in the implementation of the first national vitamin A supplementation campaign, which increased the national coverage of vitamin A supplements among preschoolers to more than 90 percent.

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Nutrition Education
HKI has developed numerous innovative and user-friendly information, education, and training materials to support the implementation of pilot-tested strategies. Presently, the HKI team continues to provide high quality technical assistance to the GOP, to local government units, and to various international and local nongovernmental organizations in order to promote nutrition education.

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Child Survival

Helen Keller International worked closely with the government to design and develop a “seal of excellence” logo to highlight products containing the recommended levels of vitamins and minerals necessary for good health and child survival. The logo was first used to help promote vitamin A-fortified bread, dubbed “Pan de Bida” (bread of life), when it was introduced in the late 1990s. Through HKI’s advocacy, the logo became the Sangkap Pinoy Seal, which now identifies fortified food products throughout the country. These products are primarily distributed during Child Health Week campaigns, which create a positive association between the products and other child health measures, including vitamin A capsule distribution, immunizations, de-worming and health education.

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Primary Eye Care
Helen Keller International established the first integrated primary eye care and secondary eye care program in Bicol, which has resulted in a model that has been replicated widely within the Philippines.

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