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Philippines – Health Issues

The Philippines is a Southeast Asian country consisting of more than 7,000 islands. With a population of over 109 million people, it faces several health challenges. In this article, we will discuss the most common health issues in the Philippines, as well as the country’s attitudes towards smoking and the legislation in place to control it.

Common Health Issues

Infectious Diseases

The Philippines faces a high burden of infectious diseases, including tuberculosis (TB), malaria, and dengue fever. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the incidence of TB in the Philippines is 554 per 100,000 people, one of the highest in the Western Pacific Region. Malaria is also prevalent, particularly in rural areas, where access to healthcare is limited. In 2019, there were 69,812 reported cases of malaria in the country. Dengue fever is another significant health issue in the Philippines, with over 146,000 reported cases and 622 deaths in 2019.

Non-Communicable Diseases

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are a growing concern in the Philippines, particularly due to the country’s changing lifestyle and dietary habits. According to the Department of Health (DOH), NCDs account for 67% of all deaths in the country. The most common NCDs in the Philippines are cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), diabetes, cancer, and chronic respiratory diseases.

Mental Health


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Mental health is a significant concern in the Philippines, with many people experiencing anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders. In 2020, the DOH reported a significant increase in mental health consultations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Philippines also has a high suicide rate, with an average of seven Filipinos committing suicide every day.

Smoking in the Philippines

Smoking is prevalent in the Philippines, with around 20 million Filipinos estimated to smoke. According to the WHO, smoking prevalence among adults in the Philippines is 23.8%, with more men (47.7%) smoking than women (8.3%). In addition, 14.8% of Filipino youth aged 13-15 years old are current tobacco smokers.

Attitudes Towards Smoking

Filipinos generally have a positive attitude towards smoking, with many considering it a personal choice and a means of stress relief. However, the DOH has launched several anti-smoking campaigns to raise awareness of the dangers of smoking and to encourage smokers to quit.

Legislation

The Philippines has several laws in place to control smoking, including the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003. This law regulates the sale, packaging, advertising, and promotion of tobacco products. It also mandates the placement of graphic health warnings on tobacco packaging and prohibits smoking in public places, including schools, hospitals, and government buildings.

In 2019, the DOH proposed a new bill to raise the minimum age for smoking from 18 to 21 years old. The bill also aims to ban smoking in private vehicles if there are minors present and to increase taxes on tobacco products.

Despite these efforts, the implementation of anti-smoking laws in the Philippines remains a challenge. Many Filipinos continue to smoke in public places, and enforcement of the ban on smoking is inconsistent.

The Philippines faces several health issues, including a high burden of infectious diseases, non-communicable diseases, and mental health disorders. Smoking is also prevalent in the country, with a significant number of Filipinos estimated to smoke. While there are laws in place to control smoking, implementation and enforcement remain a challenge. Addressing these health issues requires a comprehensive approach that includes awareness-raising, access to healthcare, and effective implementation of public health policies.


Latest Videos

In this short video, we dive into the significant health care updates and changes happening globally in 2024. From Germany's insurance cost adjustments to Cyprus's renewed COVID-19 precautions, we cover the essential news you need to know.  Germany's Health Insurance Update:  Starting in 2024, residents in Germany will see a slight increase in their health insurance costs, with a 0.1% rise to a maximum of 1.7%. This adjustment aims to expand coverage for medical care not currently included in statutory health insurance, such as select dental treatments, IVF, and early cancer screenings.  COVID-19 Measures Reintroduced in Cyprus:  With over 3000 new COVID-19 cases, Cyprus is stepping up its game by reintroducing health measures. Requirements now include proof of a negative COVID-19 test for entry into various facilities, emphasizing the importance of vaccination, especially for the elderly, to combat the evolving virus strains.  Free Health Trials in Trieste, Italy:  Trieste launches an initiative for free health screenings, including echocardiograms and blood tests, focusing on preventive care against non-communicable diseases. This move underscores the city's commitment to improving public health through early detection and prevention.  Spain's New Health Advice App:  Madrid introduces a groundbreaking app offering reliable health advice to counteract the widespread misinformation online. This app, part of the 'Madrid Te Cuida' initiative, will guide users to accurate information, from diet tips to medical queries, ensuring the advice is vetted by health professionals.  Expat Satisfaction with Healthcare in Mexico:  A study reveals that expat retirees in Mexico are largely content with the healthcare quality and costs, with many citing significant savings compared to the United States without compromising on care quality. This insight sheds light on the growing trend of healthcare tourism and relocation for medical reasons.  Stay tuned as we unpack these updates, providing you with the insights and implications of these healthcare changes. Whether it's the impact on your wallet or the quality of care you can expect, we've got you covered in this comprehensive overview of health care in 2024. Don't forget to like, share, and subscribe for more health news around the globe!

In this short video, we dive into the significant health care updates and changes happening globally in 2024. From Germany's insurance cost adjustments to Cyprus's renewed COVID-19 precautions, we cover the essential news you need to know.

Germany's Health Insurance Update:

Starting in 2024, residents in Germany will see a slight increase in their health insurance costs, with a 0.1% rise to a maximum of 1.7%. This adjustment aims to expand coverage for medical care not currently included in statutory health insurance, such as select dental treatments, IVF, and early cancer screenings.

COVID-19 Measures Reintroduced in Cyprus:

With over 3000 new COVID-19 cases, Cyprus is stepping up its game by reintroducing health measures. Requirements now include proof of a negative COVID-19 test for entry into various facilities, emphasizing the importance of vaccination, especially for the elderly, to combat the evolving virus strains.

Free Health Trials in Trieste, Italy:

Trieste launches an initiative for free health screenings, including echocardiograms and blood tests, focusing on preventive care against non-communicable diseases. This move underscores the city's commitment to improving public health through early detection and prevention.

Spain's New Health Advice App:

Madrid introduces a groundbreaking app offering reliable health advice to counteract the widespread misinformation online. This app, part of the 'Madrid Te Cuida' initiative, will guide users to accurate information, from diet tips to medical queries, ensuring the advice is vetted by health professionals.

Expat Satisfaction with Healthcare in Mexico:

A study reveals that expat retirees in Mexico are largely content with the healthcare quality and costs, with many citing significant savings compared to the United States without compromising on care quality. This insight sheds light on the growing trend of healthcare tourism and relocation for medical reasons.

Stay tuned as we unpack these updates, providing you with the insights and implications of these healthcare changes. Whether it's the impact on your wallet or the quality of care you can expect, we've got you covered in this comprehensive overview of health care in 2024. Don't forget to like, share, and subscribe for more health news around the globe!

YouTube Video UCB21b-C4O2aXm7H18_GsXMQ_nC_Fs6gU22U

Expat Focus International Healthcare Update January 2024

Expat Focus 31 January 2024 10:36 am

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