Merlin has been working in the Philippines since 2009, helping deliver health care to vulnerable groups. We have reached over 190,000 people across the Philippines and plan to reach a further 115,000 in the near future.
The Philippines is the world's twelfth most populous country and has the highest birth rate in Asia.
Despite significant improvements in its prospects for development over the past two decades, the number of people living in poverty across the country has increased, with a full third of the population now living below the poverty line.
One of the most disaster prone countries in the world, the Philippines plays host to regular typhoons, earthquakes and volcano eruptions that pose a real threat to both lives and infrastructure.
Where does Merlin work?
Merlin began its work in the Philippines in October 2009, launching an emergency response to the severe flooding and landslides caused by Tropical Storm Ketsana and Typhoon Parma that affected over 8m people.
Merlin set up its emergency response programme in Rizal province, one of the worst affected areas, where access to basic health care, safe drinking water and sanitation services were seriously lacking.
After the initial emergency had subsided, Merlin continued to provide support to local health facilities and to the people of Rizal province. From 2012, Merlin began to shift its focus to the vulnerable urban poor areas of the capital, Manila.
Merlin works with the local NGO Likhaan on access and availability of reproductive health services, particularly family planning.
What work are you doing?
Since 2010, Merlin has supported more than 35 public health centres and 250 public health workers with a range of activities, from rebuilding clinics and hospitals, to promoting good health practices and providing medical equipment and supplies. We are also improving the local health infrastructure and disaster preparedness.
Along with our local partners, Merlin has also supported the setting up of 10 safe-birthing facilities to combat the poor maternal health that exists across the Philippines.
Merlin is now starting a four year project delivering reproductive health via clinics, as well as training health workers and local health promoters. Merlin is also working to promote sexual and reproductive health rights across the Philippines.
Finally, because the Philippines are affected by a number of natural disasters every year, a large part of Merlin’s work inside the country is in responding to emergencies when they arise.
How many people are you treating?
Merlin has reached over 190,000 people across the Philippines since 2009, and plans to reach a further 115,000 in the near future.