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The Philippines

An awareness-raising session on cervical cancer screening in Tondo, Manila, where MSF works with local organisation Likhaan to facilitate access to sexual and reproductive healthcare. Philippines.   [© Melanie Wenger]

No. staff in 2019: 56 | Expenditure in 2019: €2 million| Year MSF first worked in the country: 1987 |  

Key medical figures

  • 35,600 outpatient consultations
  • 1,120 antenatal consultations

In the Philippines, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) works to improve sexual and reproductive healthcare for Manila’s slum dwellers and assist internally displaced people and returnees in post-conflict Mindanao.

Since 2016, we have been running a comprehensive sexual and reproductive health programme through clinics in San Andres and Tondo, two of the most densely populated and impoverished areas in the capital. Working in collaboration with a local organisation, Likhaan, and focusing in particular on the health needs of girls and young women, we offer family planning, ante- and postnatal care, management of sexually transmitted infections, and screening and treatment for cervical cancer. Victims of sexual violence face stigma in the Philippines, yet we continue to see a steady increase in the number coming to our clinic for treatment.

In addition, our teams operate a mobile clinic four times a week, mainly in Tondo, for patients unable to come to the fixed clinic. 

In 2019, our teams conducted more than 15,000 family planning sessions and screened 4,352 women for cervical cancer. Of these, 289 were treated with cryotherapy, a procedure that freezes a section of the cervix using nitrogen gas to destroy the targeted area. We also worked with the health authorities to vaccinate 2,230 girls against the human papillomavirus, which is responsible for cervical cancer.

We continued to work in Marawi city, in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, the region with the poorest health indicators in the Philippines, where violent confrontations are frequent.

Over 70 per cent of Marawi’s health facilities were destroyed and around 200,000 people fled their homes during a battle for control of the city in 2017. In 2019, more than 70,000 people were still internally displaced, with little access to medical services. We support three facilities in the area with basic and mental healthcare and treatment for non-communicable diseases.

COVID-19 Coronavirus

Most of the world's countries have reported cases of coronavirus disease COVID-19 and MSF teams in over 70 countries are now racing to respond to the pandemic.  

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