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Our teams in the Philippines work on tackling the alarming tuberculosis (TB) incidence rate in the country, which is the highest in Asia.

In 2021, we launched a new TB project in the densely populated and impoverished Tondo area of the capital, Manila.

In the southern city of Marawi, we continued to provide general and mental healthcare to people displaced and affected by the armed conflict that erupted between the army and a group related to the Islamic State group in 2017.  

In 2020 and 2021, our teams supported in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic and, in 2022, to the typhoon Rai response in Northern Mindanao.

Our activities in 2023 in the Philippines

Data and information from the International Activity Report 2023.

MSF in the Philippines in 2023 Médecins Sans Frontières is increasing efforts to reduce the prevalence of tuberculosis (TB) in the Philippines’ capital, Manila, through a screening programme in Tondo, its largest and most densely populated slum.
Philippines IAR map 2023

Prolonged lockdowns and disruptions to TB services during the COVID-19 pandemic in the Philippines meant people living in overcrowded areas also faced a higher risk of contracting TB. In collaboration with the Manila Department of Health, our teams launched an active case-finding project in 2021 to detect TB with an x-ray truck in the district of Tondo, one of the capital’s most impoverished areas. The aim is to screen people, trace contact cases and refer TB-positive patients to local health centres.

The TB screening capacity of our multidisciplinary medical team was strengthened with an innovative software programme using artificial intelligence, called computer-aided detection (CAD4TB). CAD4TB is capable of rapidly recognising TB on chest x-rays. According to a study conducted by MSF this year on the implementation of the software in the project, this tool significantly sped up the screening process, enabling us to screen more Tondo residents in 2023.

At the same time, our health promotion teams toured the community to encourage people to undergo chest x-ray screening. Our medical team also followed up with patients to ensure they adhered to their treatment regimen, thereby breaking the chains of transmission. Early diagnosis and treatment are some of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of TB.

We conducted home visits immediately after a positive diagnosis to screen households’ close contacts, administer TB skin tests and offer TB preventive treatment, especially to children. Infants and young children are particularly prone to severe forms of the disease, and in Tondo, their vulnerability is exacerbated by nutrition deficiencies. However, diagnosing TB in children is more complex than in adults, as it is difficult for them to produce the sputum needed for laboratory analysis. Protecting children through preventive measures and timely treatment of adults is a key priority for our teams.


in 2023
Tuberculosis in Tondo, Manila - Ezra Acayan

Tackling tuberculosis in the slums of Manila

Project Update 10 Apr 2023
Typhoon Rai (Odette) Assessment

MSF launches response after Typhoon Rai leaves hundreds of casualties in its wake

Project Update 18 Jan 2022
COVID-19 response in Marawi

Displaced communities in Marawi living with COVID-19 and ongoing uncertainty

Project Update 17 Jul 2020
Tondo project in Philippines
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A year in pictures 2017

18 Dec 2017
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Tondo project - HPV vaccination
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Supporting young girls in the slums of Manila

21 Nov 2017
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MSF Response in Iligan City

Helping people cope amid conflict in Mindanao

Voices from the Field 29 Sep 2017