The Philippines is a nation of many islands. The Philippines is the world’s largest exporter of coconuts and tropical fruits, such as papaya and mangos. The Philippines has a population of more than 100 million people, which makes it the 12th most populous country in the world. Over 11 million Filipinos work overseas, which constitutes about 11% of the entire population of the Philippines. Its geographic location in the Pacific Ocean sits in the path of typhoons that continue to devastate many parts of the country leading to many deaths and displaced families.
Since 2009, World Compassion Fellowship has sponsored regular volunteer medical and dental teams to bring care to almost 3,000 people in the Pila, Laguna area. WCF has responded to natural disasters such as the devastating Typhoon Haiyan as well as providing ongoing care in 2 prison facilities for inmates that have no other access to medical care. Our last medical team in 2015 provided care for 564 patients in several prisons and the Pila, Laguna Community. We had 220 dental patients throughout the clinic, most of whom desperately wanted various rotten teeth pulled. Our medical team did a healthcare seminar for the community on topics such as nutrition, hypertension, dental hygiene and physical exercise.
Due to social, economic, and geographic barriers to healthcare access, the most vulnerable populations (pregnant women, newborns, infants, and children) are often unable to receive the care they need. Health status indicators show that the country lags behind most of its Asian counterparts. A quarter of the population lives in poverty. Lower income population groups in the less developed regions of the country are suffering. Medical and dental care in these areas are very difficult to come by for the average person. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the Philippines. Communicable diseases such as tuberculosis and pneumonia are leading causes of death. Malaria and leprosy are endemic in certain regions of the country.