The Philippines is becoming a very popular travel destination and it boasts powder-white beaches, crystal clear seas and stunning coral reefs. It is consist of 7,107 islands. One of the popular places to visit is metropolitan Manila, the Philippines capital city, and many more.
Don't be a statistic, carry on reading as the following sections contain information on the risk of malaria in the Philippines, what vaccines are recommended and other important issues you may face!
Information Reviewed by Andrew Walton MPharm our Superintendent Pharmacist on: 30/4/2021
The Philippines is split up into three regions, which are Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao and all of these areas are considered low risk. However, in the cities and islands of Boracay, Bohol, Catanduanes, Cebu and Leyte there is no risk of Malaria.
It is of the opinion of TravelPharm to take precautions such as bite avoidance and the use of antimalarial medication is not routinely recommended.
TravelPharm advises that these specific patient groups listed below should consider taking antimalarial medication as well as using bite avoidance measures:
- Immunocompromised and those without a spleen
- Long term medical conditions
- Long term travellers or those visiting rural remote locations
Statistics from the World Health Organisation show that in 2017, 104.9 million people were living in the Philippines of which there were an estimated 15,300 cases of malaria and there were only 34 estimated deaths. However, treatment and preventative measures are advancing and becoming more widely available.
Below is a table designed to show you what vaccines are mandatory, recommended or ones to consider when visiting the Philippines:
Tick Borne Encephalitis
Yellow Fever Vaccine
A certificate is needed if arriving from a transmission risk country.
The Philippines has either area with high altitude (2400m or more) or/and areas with very high altitude (3658m or more).
Travel to high altitude can cause several conditions which include Acute Mountain Sickness (Altitude Sickness) and the more severe High Altitude Pulmonary Oedema (HAPE) and High Altitude Cerebral Oedema (HACE).
Symptoms of Acute Mountain Sickness include headache, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea and sleep disturbance. Improvement will only occur by descending to lower altitudes. Complications can occur for persisting with an ascent which is proving troublesome and that can lead to swelling around the brain or fluid collecting in the lungs. Ultimately HAPE and HACE can prove fatal.
Prevention is by slow ascent (no more than 500m per day once over 3000m) and by ensuring travel to high altitude areas from low altitude areas is not done in a single day.
Travel Health Pro has an excellent resource for helping to determine a patients risk based on previous experience and elevation. The information is available here
Patients potentially at risk due to unavoidably rapid ascents, or those with previous experience of Acute Mountain Sickness may benefit from taking Acetazolamide (Diamox). Travelpharm offers a free online consultation service should you wish to purchase this.
There is a high risk of traveller’s diarrhoea in the Philippines and precautions should be taken to reduce the likelihood of developing it wherever possible. Symptoms include stomach cramps which can be mild to moderate, diarrhoea which can be bloody or watery, vomiting and fever. If you are passing blood when you go to the toilet see a doctor immediately.
Observing strict hygiene and being careful of the types of food and drink that are being consumed are the only options. We have a handy guide available in our travel blog and we also stock a large selection of medicines to help ease your symptoms in our stomach and bowel section.
If you are travelling for long periods of time or likely to be away from medical attention then please consider taking a standby course of antibiotics for travellers diarrhoea. Travelpharm stock a product called Xifaxanta which contains the drug Rifamixin. Xifaxanta is recommended for situations where you are producing watery stools with mild to moderate cramping up to about 6 times daily.
Travelpharm offer an Online Consultation service to make it simple and convenient for you to get hold of your anti malaria tablets without having to book a visit with your doctor. Our online consultation service means that we are able to ask you a number of questions during the ordering process, and when we receive your order it is reviewed by one of our pharmacists who will then dispense your items from our UK registered pharmacy.
How it works:
Ordering products with an online consultation service is simple:
1. Select Tablets
2. Complete Questions
Online Anti-Malaria Consultations:
If you are visiting a country that has a risk of malaria, then it is important to take the necessary precautions so you do not pick up the disease when travelling. There is a range of anti-malaria tablets available, and the type of tablet you require will depend on factors such as the area you are visiting, the length of stay, your medical history and drugs you may already be taking. All our medicine are legally sourced and dispensed in the UK, our credentials can be checked against the General Pharmaceutical Councils register.
Travelpharm supply popular anti-malaria tablets, such as Malarone, Maloff, Doxycycline, Lariam, Atovaquone & Proguanil, which are generic Malarone tablets. These tablets are designed to provide protection from malaria, however certain tablets are designed to be taken at different stages, the table below shows how and when the tablets should be taken. Always read the product leaflet before taking any tablets:
|Malarone / Maloff|
(Atovaquone & Proguanil)
|How often should tablets be taken?||1 tablet each day when in the risk area|| 1 tablet each day |
in risk area
|1 tablet each week|
|When should I start treatment?|| 2 days before entering |
the risk area
|2 days before entering the risk area||10 days before entering the risk area|
|How often when leaving the risk area?|| 7 days when leaving |
the risk area
|4 weeks after leaving the risk area|| 4 weeks after leaving the risk area|