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The Philippines is challenged by high rates of maternal and neonatal mortality and tuberculosis (TB). The annual population growth rate, estimated at 1.9 percent in 2010, remains one of the highest in Southeast Asia. The documented gap between actual total fertility (3.0 children per woman) versus desired fertility (2.2 children per woman) signals an unmet need for family planning information, commodities and services. TB is among the top ten leading causes of mortality in the country, killing at least 60 Filipinos every day.

Under the Partnership for Growth with Equity, USAID’s health programs address one of the four growth constraints, strengthening human capital and productivity through health improvements. USAID’s assistance enhances the capacity of the Philippines Department of Health, local governments (provinces, municipalities and cities) and the private sector to provide quality health services. All USAID activities support the Philippine government’s health care agenda and are implemented through a bilateral assistance agreement with the Department of Health. USAID-supported programs strengthen health systems while increasing the demand for and access to maternal, neonatal and child health, family planning service and TB prevention, treatment and control.

PROJECTS

Communication for Health Advancement through Networking and Governance Enhancement (CHANGE)

Quality family planning, maternal and child health, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS services are critical for Filipinos to maintain healthy lives and sustain growth for the country; however, many do not actively seek the care they need. CHANGE partners with the Department of Health to promote healthy behaviors through national communication campaigns and to strengthen the capacity of national and local health communication managers for strategic communication planning and implementation. CHANGE helps the Department of Health’s Regional Offices, local governments and other USAID health projects localize campaigns and materials. For example, three nationwide TV campaigns on TB reached over 17 million target individuals, which were complemented by TB posters, fans, stickers, job aids and other communication materials that were distributed in communities.

Community Maternal Neonatal Child Health and Nutrition Scale Up Follow-on (CMSU2)

CMSU2 enhances midwives’ proficiency in crucial maternal and child health skills. Its predecessor, CMSU1, developed the clinical, mentoring and organizational capacities of the Integrated Midwives Association of the Philippines, enabling the group to develop leaders, trainers and mentors. Building on the gains of CMSU1, CMSU2 institutionalizes the peer mentoring approach and expands the roles of midwives in improving access to family planning services. The project also optimizes opportunities for midwives to provide family planning services to the underserved and strengthen public-private collaboration for a synergized health service delivery system.

Demographic and Health Survey

USAID supports the Philippine Statistical Authority to conduct the Demographic and Health Survey. The survey, conducted every five years since 1968, measures trends in demographic and health indicators in the Philippines. USAID/Philippines specifically provides financial and technical assistance, which allowed the Philippine Statistical Authority to upgrade to a tablet-based data collection system—making the Philippines one of the first countries in the world to use this innovative approach. The tablet-based system decreases input error and data analysis time, resulting in timely release of accurate results. The government of the Philippines will use the 2017 Demographic and Health Survey data to monitor progress toward achieving goals specified in the Philippines Health Agenda (2016-2022).

Health Policy Development Program 2 (HPDP-2)

In 2010, the Philippine government launched its national health care initiative to address gaps and challenges on inequity in health, beginning with those in the lowest income quintiles. To expand and sustain this initiative, USAID launched HPDP-2, strengthening the policy and financing environment for improved access to maternal, neonatal, child health and nutrition, family planning and tuberculosis services and supplies. HPDP-2 helped the Department of Health develop guidelines to finance and operationalize the Universal Health Care initiative, as well as the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Law. It also helped design the 2016 National TB Prevalence Survey and draft the implementing rules and regulations of Republic Act 10767: An Act Establishing a Comprehensive Philippine Plan of Action to Eliminate Tuberculosis as a Public Health Problem.

Innovations and Multi-Sectoral Partnerships to Achieve Control of Tuberculosis (IMPACT)

Nationwide, nearly half a million Filipinos, most of them in the economically productive age range of 15 to 64 years, contract TB every year, resulting in huge economic losses. IMPACT engages public and private sectors to detect and cure TB cases. It supports the Department of Health’s National TB Control Program and works with 43 provinces and cities with high TB prevalence, and low case detection and cure rates. IMPACT significantly improved TB detection by mobilizing 4,500 volunteers to promote TB awareness; installing 257 remote smearing stations in 17 provinces; and engaging private hospitals, pharmacies, jails and prisons, workplaces, religious leaders and indigenous people.

Institutionalization of the Health Leadership and Governance Program (IHLGP)

Throughout the Philippines, leadership and governance capabilities of local chief executives and health officers affect people’s access to health services, especially for vulnerable populations who rely on government facilities for maternal and child health, family planning, tuberculosis and other critical health needs. The project institutionalizes leadership and governance capacity building in central and regional health management systems. It bolsters the Department of Health’s (DOH) capacity to manage health leadership and governance programs by integrating leadership and governance capabilities into the DOH’s performance competency-based framework. The activity enhances the leadership capabilities of the DOH’s Regional Offices to help strengthen health systems at the regional and local levels.

Integrated Maternal, Neonatal, Child Health and Nutrition Regional Project in Luzon (LuzonHealth)

USAID’s assistance in Luzon aligns with the Philippine government’s health care agenda that scales up high-impact services and client-centered information to reduce maternal and infant deaths and addresses unmet need for family planning services and high teenage pregnancy. LuzonHealth works with the Department of Health Regional Offices, local governments, private sector and other partners to enhance and sustain provision of family planning services in rural health units and expand the same in hospitals. It assists the local governments and hospital management teams improve the health policies, strengthen the demand for and supply of health services and bolster the management and referral system in service delivery networks. As a result, all rural health units and 52 hospitals in the project sites now provide family planning counseling and services; 600,500 individuals received information in the past year; around two million couples adopted and have continued practicing a family planning method of their choice; 267 facilities are now accredited by PhilHealth and all the assisted local governments are utilizing PhilHealth reimbursement to improve health services. The LuzonHealth project continues to work with the local governments for them to consolidate the gains and sustain the interventions.

Integrated FP-MCH Program – Visayas (VisayasHealth)

In the Visayas region, misconceptions and provider bias are among the top barriers for adults to seek family planning services. For those wanting to limit the size of their family, access is often limited and quality is often low. VisayasHealth works with national and local government partners, the private sector, civil society organizations, academic institutions and health professional associations to promote health, provide high-impact family planning counseling and services, remove local policy and health systems barriers and improve data management. More than 500 rural health units and selected hospitals now offer family planning services. As a result, around 2.9 million women of reproductive age now have access to family planning services and over 960,000 women and 40,000 men were provided information on family planning in the past year.

Integrated FP-MCH Program – Mindanao (MindanaoHealth)

Decades of poverty and internal conflict in certain parts of Mindanao have imposed tremendous economic costs, often leaving local governments unable to adequately serve people. The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao is marked by the worst health indicators in the country, especially in maternal and infant deaths. USAID helps the Department of Health to strengthen health systems, sustain health service improvement and reach people living in rural areas. USAID also provides humanitarian assistance in conflict-affected areas, including Marawi. Since 2013, USAID has helped establish 21 service delivery networks of public and private healthcare facilities, allowing more people to receive more effective care, especially for those in geographically isolated and low-income communities. More than 35,000 adults received their choice of family planning methods and 26,000 women received antenatal care. In areas threatened by conflict, 25,000 women and children were immunized or were beneficiaries of maternal care and family planning services.

Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services (SIAPS)

In order to end TB in the Philippines, people must have access to good quality diagnostic tests and uninterrupted supply to quality TB drugs. SIAPS works with the Department of Health-National TB Control Program, the Food and Drug Authority and the National Tuberculosis Reference Laboratory to improve TB laboratory and pharmaceutical services, as well as guide policies and support essential supply chain functions. By establishing laboratory and pharmaceutical working groups, SIAPS improved coordination, information sharing and accountability among TB stakeholders. SIAPS has trained government staff to use QuanTB, an electronic forecasting, quantification and early warning tool that improves procurement processes, ordering and planning for TB drugs. SIAPS helped develop guidelines to scale up medical equipment for testing multidrug resistant TB, as well as a system to collect, assess, monitor and detect possible adverse effects of anti-TB medicines. Furthermore, SIAPS improved community health leadership and management through its Barangay Health Management Council for TB. Recently, SIAPS expanded the supply chain technical assistance to improve regular supplies of family planning commodities in health facilities and forge a more integrated supply chain management system.

Technical, Research, Education, and Technical Assistance for Tuberculosis (TREAT-TB) (field support)

Tuberculosis is a major public health problem in the Philippines and is also of concern for other nations to which the disease may spread. Multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB) is a particular challenge, with an estimated 15,000 cases in 2015. Treatment outcomes for MDR-TB are typically worse than those for patients with drug sensitive TB, in significant part due to the length of treatment and the potential for adverse effects from second-line medications. To address the burden of MDR-TB, the Philippines National TB Program (NTP) has introduced the shorter treatment regimen, which was conditionally recommended by the World Health Organization in 2016. TREAT TB is supporting the NTP with programmatic implementation of the standard shorter treatment regimen for MDR-TB (SSTR). The project translates international best practices and research results into practice for new treatment regimens. TREAT TB offers technical assistance for clinicians and program managers to help them respond to clinical and programmatic challenges inthe national scale-up of the SSTR. The project also trains doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers on clinical management of MDR-TB; strengthens the country’s pool of trainers; supports the integration of active drug safety monitoring into all aspects of the SSTR scale-up; and enhances capacity for operational research.

World Health Organization Consolidated Grant / World Health Organization/Philippines Tuberculosis Medical Officer

Since 2010, USAID/Philippines has funded the World Health Organization (WHO) Country Office Medical Officer to support the government of the Philippines' Tuberculosis Control Program. The WHO Medical Officer works with the Philippines Department of Health, Lung Center of the Philippines and the National TB Reference Laboratory to develop national policies and strategies on tuberculosis. The officer provides technical leadership; assists in shaping the research agenda and stimulating the generation, translation and dissemination of valuable knowledge; sets norms and standards; promotes and monitors implementation of these standards; and articulates ethical and evidence-based policy options.

Last updated: November 06, 2017

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