DOST-PCHRD E-Newsletter | 2nd Quarter

Tuesday, June 2, 2020
The World Health Organization (WHO) cites the Philippines as a model for low- to middle-income countries with a comprehensive national strategy for health research based on the Health Evidence Network (HEN) report, “What is the evidence on policies, interventions and tools for establishing and/or strengthening national health research systems and their effectiveness?” which elaborates the importance of collaborative and cross-cutting health research strategies as key in the achievement of national health goals.
Evidence-based forecasts of possible cases and scenarios on the spread of COVID-19 in the country can now be accessed thanks to the Feasibility Analysis of Syndromic Surveillance using Spatio-Temporal Epidemiological Modeler or FASSSTER. Developed by Ateneo Center for Computing Competency and Research (ACCCRe) of Ateneo de Manila University in collaboration with the University of the Philippines Manila - National Telehealth Center (UP-NTHC) and the Department of Health-Epidemiology Bureau  and funded by the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD), FASSSTER is a web-based disease surveillance platform that uses deterministic compartmental modeling.
More than preparing emergency relief for their constituents, the Local Government Units (LGUs) play a crucial role in monitoring and disease surveillance of COVID-19 possible patients in their respective communities. LGUs can put in place contact tracing systems such as the TanodCOVID. By using TanodCOVID, people in the community will have means of reporting their symptoms to their local officials without the fear of discrimination.
As the cases of the novel coronavirus in the country continue to rise, the DOH seeks for additional medical equipment such as ventilators and respirators to help severely ill COVID-19 patients. To answer this call, a research team consisting of pulmonologists and biomedical engineers, led by Dr. Abundio Balgos of UP Manila, developed GINHAWA, a compact, safe and effective ventilator for both children and adults.
As the lead coordinating body for health research in the Philippines, DOST-PCHRD is leveraging its experience in supporting health researchers and developing technologies to rapidly but carefully develop a treatment and vaccine for COVID-19. Considering the available resources in the Philippines, and the required expertise and facilities needed for vaccine development, the Council builds on collaboration opportunities with international partners by participating in the clinical trials of the most advanced candidates.
To increase safety protocols for healthcare workers, Filipino researchers are developing a disinfection technology called SaniPod, a self-containing cubicle similar to air showers meant for sanitizing frontliners as they exit COVID-19 patient wards.  Aside from wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), disinfection cubicles such as SaniPod will ensure that medical personnel are given an extra layer of protection from COVID-19, as SaniPod cubicles are more efficient than the existing sanitation tents in terms of disinfection success.
The American Nurses Association (ANA) confers the Hall of Fame Award to Balik Scientist Dr. Rose Constantino for her continued commitment and invaluable contribution in the field of health care. In their official press release, ANA President Ernest Grant emphasizes that the award is even more relevant and timely, as nurses also serve as frontliners who battle the current pandemic. “ANA is honored to celebrate the achievements of these nurses and champions, who are exemplary leaders and advocates, and whose contributions have advanced the field of nursing,” he says.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in collaboration with the United States Government (US) and the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) announced Dr. Maria Ruth Pineda-Cortel of the University of Santo Tomas (UST) as the country’s finalist for the annual Science Prize for Women last April 27. Dr. Pineda-Cortel, a Department of Science and Technology - Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD) scholar, was chosen as finalist for her project on gestational diabetes.
This review provides guidance for surgery during the COVID-19 crisis in a simplified way addressing the practice of surgery, healthcare staff and patient safety and care. It is a Pandemic Surgery Guidance for surgical procedures by distinct surgical disciplines. Here is a direct link to the PDF version: 
This review contains valuable recommendations on Physical Office Set-Up, Processing Patients, Personal Protection, Procedures, Prevention and Health Promotion, and Practice Implications. Here is a direct link to the PDF version: 
Kwentong Kalusugan sa Komunidad ukol sa COVID-19 (KKK COVID-19): Ano ang Impeksyon (Infection) at Paano ito Maiiwasan?

Kwentong Kalusugan sa Komunidad ukol sa COVID-19 (KKK-COVID19) "Mahirap ang Maging Mahirap: How are the poor coping with COVID-19?" in partnership with Ugnayang Pang-AghamTao (UGAT)

COVID-19 and Me Part 6 "Implications of the Pandemic and the Disease Control Measures to the Health System and Society"

WE CaN!!! Webinar Series on Changing Health Belief Models and Behaviors (Part 1)

COVID-19 and The ASEAN Community: Experiences from Thailand and The Philippines

WE CaN!! Webinar Series on Changing Health Belief Models and Behaviors (Part 2)

COVID-19 and The ASEAN Community: Experiences from Indonesia, Malaysia,& Vietnam

Webinar on Vulnerabilities, Preparedness, and Resilience featuring Cagayan de Oro City

COVID-19 and The ASEAN Community: ASEAN Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Webinar on Vulnerabilities, Preparedness, and Resilience featuring Cebu City

Here's your one-stop portal for COVID-19-related information!
We have finally launched the COVID-19 CORe (Communication, Ongoing projects, Research) Portal where you can access local and international research, local innovations, pandemic analysis and policy papers, webinars, and local healthcare facilities. This aims to strengthen the country’s pandemic information dissemination efforts. Read more about the portal here:
Visit COVID-19 CORe Portal:
What's New in Health Research?