20 January 2022
The Philippines has been severely affected by COVID-19. According to latest WHO figures, as of 17 January 2022, the Philippines had recorded over 3 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 with over 52,700 deaths. Since March 2020, the country has taken strict measures to halt the spread of the virus, including lockdowns such as Enhanced Community Quarantines.
The impact of COVID-19 has especially been significant on TB and HIV. In 2020, the National TB Control Program recorded a marked decrease in TB testing as well as notification for TB and drug-resistant TB (DR-TB). In 2021, COVID-19 cases surged again as the Delta variant spread.
In 2021, through our COVID-19 Response Mechanism (C19RM), the Global Fund supported the Philippines with over US$37.7 million to fight COVID-19, including to expand COVID-19 testing capacities and support the COVID-19 case management strategy. In addition, interventions focus on COVID-19 mitigation measures for HIV, TB and malaria programs. This includes telemedicine, mobile clinics, bidirectional testing, digital tools to help patients adhere to their treatment, improving TB case finding and transportation networks to transport samples, supporting differentiated service delivery approach to providing HIV services, and integrating information campaigns for COVID-19 and malaria. The programs also support social protection interventions, community-based organization strengthening, addressing human rights barriers to health care and services, and HIV mitigation measures addressing community needs like mental health support and gender-based violence prevention. The Philippines was one of the first countries to develop a strong comprehensive TB adaptive plan to the impact of COVID-19.