Despite having the second largest number of infections in Southeast Asia, the pandemic situation in the Philippines has provided an opportunity for all stakeholders to strategically plan and innovate quality healthcare delivery during the response, based on principles contained in the Asia Pacific Strategy for Emerging Diseases (APSED III).
The World Health Organization (WHO) Philippines supports the Department of Health (DOH) and subnational areas in the Philippines with technical expertise to build up national and local level responses for expansion of diagnostic capacity, early contact tracing and management, expansion of healthcare pathways and strengthening surveillance systems and risk communication.
These were made possible through engagement with Health Cluster Coordination Programme in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) with funding support from the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operation (ECHO).
Aside from BARMM, WHO Philippines also deployed teams in regions 1 (Ilocos), 2 (Cagayan Valley), 3 (Central Luzon), 4A (CALABARZON), National Capital Region, 6 (Western Visayas), 9 (Zamboanga Peninsula), 10 (Northern Mindanao), 11 (Davao Region), SOCCSKSARGEN, and CARAGA to support the COVID-19 local response.
The WHO staff on the ground collate multi-source data and information from varied sources and provide analysis to inform plans and strategies of government leaders in stopping the transmission of the virus in their localities.
As the country progresses in the fight against this disease, the ability to gather real-time data and information is of critical importance to further inform the advice and interventions. The primary aim is to support the effective local response against COVID-19 and working together with DOH, to better manage and reduce the pandemic’s health impact on the Filipino people and support economic recovery.