Evaluating the impact of a child sponsorship programme on paediatric health and development in Calauan, Philippines: A retrospective audit
Evaluating the impact of a child sponsorship programme on paediatric health and development in Calauan, Philippines: A retrospective audit.
Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health,.
Aim: International child sponsorship programmes comprise a considerable proportion of global aid accessible to the general population. Team Philippines (TP), a health care and welfare initiative run in association with the University of Notre Dame Sydney since 2013, leads a holistic sponsorship programme for 30 children from Calauan, Philippines. To date, empirical research has not been performed into the overall success and impact of the TP child sponsorship programme. As such, this study aims to evaluate its effectiveness in improving paediatric outcomes.
Methods: Study cohorts comprised 30 sponsored and 29 age- and gender-matched non-sponsored children. Data were extracted from the TP Medical Director database and life-style questionnaires for July-November 2019. Outcome measures included anthropometry, markers of medical health, dental health, exercise, and diet. Statistical analyses were performed in SPSS.
Results: Sponsorship resulted in fewer medical diagnoses and prescription medications, superior dental health, and improved diet. Further, sponsored children may show a clinically significant trend towards improved physical health. Sponsorship did not affect growth and development metrics, or levels of physical activity.
Conclusions: The TP child sponsorship programme significantly impacts positive paediatric health outcomes in the Calauan community. The strength of the programme lies in its holistic, sustainable, and community-based model, which is enabled by effective international child sponsorship. This study further supports the relationship between supporting early livelihood and improved health in the paediatric population.
child health; community health services; health-care disparities; medically underserved area; Philippines; social determinants of health