While officials report roughly 740 deaths on average every year due to typhoon exposure in the Philippines, post-typhoon mortality among baby girls is approximately 15 times higher than that, likely due to the storm’s indirect poverty-worsening effects.
The risk of a baby girl dying after a typhoon doubles if she has older sisters in the home, and the risk doubles again if she has older brothers—suggesting that the competition for resources among siblings may play a key role in these deaths.
The researchers did not find a spike in the mortality rates for baby boys, but they uncovered an elevated mortality risk among baby girls that lasts up to two years after a typhoon.Note that the research is based on a series of typhoons. While the most recent one was much worse than normal, disastrous typhoons are not uncommon in the Philippines. That raises the other disturbing question, mentioned in the article, about the general lack of readiness within the country for disasters of this kind.