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Pneumonia in the Philippines: Incidence and Prevention

Medically reviewed by Mae Charisse Antalan, MD · General Practitioner

Written by Excel Dyquiangco · Updated Nov 19, 2022

Pneumonia in the Philippines: Incidence and Prevention

Pneumonia is one of the leading causes of deaths in the Philippines. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), deaths of those afflicted with pneumonia in the Philippines- along with the flu – account for about 75,970 or 12.27% of fatalities.

Those at risk for pneumonia are infants, young children, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems.

Here are some things that you should know about pneumonia in the Philippines.

What is pneumonia?

Pneumonia is a condition that affects the air sacs in your lungs. Once these air sacs fill with fluid or pus, it becomes more difficult for oxygen to enter your bloodstream, therefore, causing pneumonia.

There are several causes of pneumonia, but the most common are viruses, bacteria, and fungi – with each requiring a different type of treatment.

Pneumonia can be contagious, too, and it can be transmitted through droplets expelled when someone with the condition coughs or sneezes. 

Pneumonia can also be contracted when you touch contaminated surfaces then you touch your mouth, eyes, and nose.

These days, with the alarming rise of infectious diseases, health experts and professionals advise everyone to wash their hands thoroughly, and to avoid touching the face – in particular, the mouth, the eyes, and the nose. 

Those who are vulnerable to pneumonia include those with pre-existing health conditions, such as asthma, heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) as well as those with weak immune systems and those who frequently smoke. 

Its symptoms are similar to an ordinary flu: cough and colds, high fever, muscle pains and chills, vomiting and nausea, rapid and fast breathing, among others.

Take note, though, that these symptoms may differ according to the health condition and age of the patient.  

Treating Pneumonia

To those infected with pneumonia, do not worry or be anxious.

Pneumonia in the Philippines can be treated now, and some studies say that one of the measures to counter bacterial pneumonia is to take antibiotics, which are often called the “mainstay treatment” of bacterial pneumonia.

Of course, these are not available over the counter and can only be taken with the supervision of your doctor. 

  • Aside from antibiotics, keep on drinking fluids. At least eight glasses of water each day. Proper hydration can wash out the toxins in your body.
  • Get enough bed rest can help, too.
  • Try to eat early, and wake up early too. Try to make this a habit and a lifestyle.
  • For those suffering from moderate to severe pneumonia, hospitalization is also important.
  • Again, it all depends on your age. Those who have weak immune systems, as well as the infants and the children and the elderly most likely need to be hospitalized.

pneumonia in the Philippines

Preventing Pneumonia

Of course, prevention is still better than cure. Here are ways to prevent pneumonia.

  • Get vaccinated against the flu at least once a year. And get vaccinated against pneumonia at least once. Some vaccines provide lifetime immunity. Ask your health professional and expert which vaccines would be best.
  • Frequently wash your hands. To prevent pneumonia and other infectious diseases, it is important to wash your hands regularly and thoroughly—whenever you go out, after every meal, or after cleaning, etc.
  • Drink lots of water each day. Don’t underestimate the power of water and fluids in your body system. Make sure to drink at least eight glasses of water each day.
  • Have a balanced diet. Mix your meals with proteins, healthy fats, carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables. Avoid consuming too much chocolates, sweets, and junk food. 
  • Get enough sleep. Make sure that you get at least eight hours of sleep each night. If possible, sleep early and wake up early too. Make this a habit and a lifestyle.
  • For older patients, don’t let perspiration dry, especially on your back. Make sure to keep your back dry and change clothes frequently.
  • Exercise. It can’t be stressed hard enough how vital exercise is to your daily routine. Aside from watching YouTube workout videos, you can jog or run around your neighborhood. Take the stairs instead of the elevator; stretch your muscles – and even do household activities.
  • Avoid smoking. Kicking the habit and quitting smoking as well as drinking too much alcohol can do wonders for your health.
  • Avoid stress. This is naturally not only for those who want to prevent pneumonia, but avoiding stress is helpful to boost immunity against many diseases – diabetes, asthma, heart ailments, among others.

Key Takeaways

With pneumonia in the Philippines being prevalent and widespread, especially in the younger and older age group, and the fact that it is one of the leading causes of deaths in the Philippines, it is especially important to always keep your body healthy – your heart and your lungs in check.

Learn more about pneumonia, here.


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Mae Charisse Antalan, MD

General Practitioner

Written by Excel Dyquiangco · Updated Nov 19, 2022

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