The Philippines

The major health problems currently affecting The Philippines according to the World Health Organization are:

  • High incidences of all key communicable diseases including measles, acute lower respiratory tract infections, hepatitis B, diphtheria, neonatal tetanus, diarrhoea, influenza, malaria and dengue fever.
  • Tubercolosis (TB) incidence is decreasing but multidrug-restistant TB prevalence is on the rise.
  • Although considered low prevalence, the Philippines has one of the fastest growing HIV epidemics in the world with a 587 per cent increase in the past five years.
  • Under-five mortality is an issue with inequities across the country. It is four to five times higher in the southern Philippines compared to Manilla. Newborn mortality accounts for 50 per cent of all under-five deaths.

The Philippines National AIDS Registry of the Department of Health reported a rapid and exponential increase in new reported HIV cases. In 2006 there was one new case of HIV detected every three days however at the beginning of 2014 that had increased to 16 cases detected everyday.

Recent data shows the HIV epidemic is concentrated among most at-risk groups, men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs and disproportionately represented among young people.

Burnet Institute is helping to address a steady rise in HIV in the Philippines through the development of a series of demonstration sites for new health service delivery models for adolescent key populations.

Maternal and newborn health
According to UNICEF, progress has been slow in the Philippines towards reaching Millennium Development Goals four and five, Reducing Child Mortality and Improving Maternal Health.

Deaths of children under five have been halved in the past 20 years but there has been a slow decline in neonatal or newborn deaths. Half of Filipino children who die before their fifth birthday are newborns.

An estimated 11 women die everyday due to complications of childbirth, and so there are concerns the Philippines may not reach the 75 per cent reduction target of maternal deaths.

Contact Details

For more information about our work in The Philippines, please contact:

Chad Hughes

Head, International Development; Regional Director, Mekong Region




Current Projects

  • Engaging private sector for adolescent health service delivery in Asia and Pacific

  • Gender Counts

  • Implementing Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Services in East Asia and the Pacific Region

  • Rapid review of maternal health recommendations related to the COVID-19 pandemic

  • Sexual and reproductive health in Asia and the Pacific