Philippines - Health

In the mid-1990s, there were 1,663 hospitals, 562 of which were operated by the government and 1,101 in the private sector. In the same period, there were 31,375 physicians, 1,523 dentists, 10,117 nurses, and 12,408 midwives. As of 1999, there were an estimated 1.2 physicians and 1.1 hospital beds per 1,000 people. Government-financed child health malnutrition and early education programs are already well established in the Philippines. These programs suffer from chronic underfunding in terms of inadequate equipment, numbers of field-level staff, and other operating expenses. Government hospitals had 46,388 beds and private hospitals had 35,309. In addition, there were 2,299 rural health units. As of 1999 total health care expenditure was estimated at 3.6% of GDP.

Pulmonary infections (tuberculosis, pneumonia, bronchitis) are prevalent. Malnutrition remains a health problem despite government assistance in the form of Nutripaks (consisting of indigenous foods such as mung beans and powdered shrimp) that are made available for infants, children, and pregnant women. In 2000, 32% of children under five years old were considered malnourished. Protein malnutrition, anemia, and vitamin A and iodine deficiencies are commonly found in children. The goiter rate was 6.9 per 100. Heart disease is the third most common cause of death in the Philippines.

During the 1980s, a nationwide primary health care program was implemented. As a result, community involvement in health services increased, the prevalence of communicable diseases decreased, and the nutritional state of the population improved. Obesity and hypertension are more common in the cities. In 2000, 87% of the population had access to safe drinking water and 83% had adequate sanitation. Children up to one year of age were immunized in 1995 against tuberculosis, 91%; diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus, 85%; polio, 86%; and measles, 96%. In 1999 the rate for both DPT and measles was 79%.

The infant mortality rate declined from 78.4 per 1,000 live births in 1972 to 31 in 2000. As of 2002, the crude birth rate and overall mortality rate were estimated at, respectively, 26.9 and 6 per 1,000 people. Maternal mortality was 170 per 100,000 live births in 1998. In 2000, 47% of married women (ages 15 to 49) were using contraception. Average life expectancy was 69 years in 2000.

As of 1999, the number of people living with HIV/AIDS was estimated at 28,000 and deaths from AIDS that year were estimated at 1,200. HIV prevalence was 0.07 per 100 adults. Tuberculosis incidence has been high. In the mid-1990s, 180,444 tuberculosis cases were reported per year. Incidence of TB was 314 per 100,000 people in 1999. In 1995, there were 525 cases of malaria per 100,000 people.

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