The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) celebrates the 10th National Biotechnology Week (NBW) on 24-29 November 2014.

The NBW celebration is annually celebrated by the DOST together with the Department of Education (DepEd), the Department of Health (DOH), the Department of Agriculture (DA), the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to promote safe and responsible use of modern biotechnology and its products as one of the several means to achieve and sustain food security, equitable access to health services, sustainable and safe environment.

With the theme, “Edukasyon sa Bioteknolohiya: Pagyamanin para sa Kinabukasan Natin,” the DOST participates in the event by holding activities aimed at educating college and high school students on the use of biotechnology in drug discovery and nutrition, agriculture, environment protection, and industry.

For inquiries, please contact Ms. Magdalena Manaig at 837-7534 or visit http://www.science.ph/

MD PhD 2014 Mou FTPProf. Fortunato Dela Peña, Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Undersecretary for Scientific and Technological Services, lauded the MD-PhD Molecular Medicine Scholarship Program as a good model for human resource development programs in science and technology during the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at the University of the Philippines (UP) College of Medicine on October 8, 2014.
 
The MD-PhD in Molecular Medicine Scholarship Program is a joint initiative of UPM and the DOST, through the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD), that aims to train aspiring physician-scientists for careers in basic and applied biomedical research towards the advancement of health from individual to global levels. It is the first and pioneering degree program in the Philippines that combines the MD and PhD courses in one.
 
Usec. Dela Peña explained that the MD-PhD Program is part of an ongoing effort of the DOST to capacitate the S&T sector with highly trained and skilled human resource by providing scholarship grants in almost all educational levels and all fields of expertise. Aside from scholars at the Philippine Science High School (PSHS) System, the Department also currently supports more than 4,000 undergraduate and more than 1,000 MS and PhD scholars.
 
Describing the program as “very innovative” and a “breakthrough in graduate education,” Usec. Dela Peña said that the DOST may follow the dual-career concept of the MD-PhD in  Molecular Science program in developing  future scholarship grants in other fields of science and technology.

MD PhD 2014 Mou

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) renews its support for the MD-PhD in Molecular Medicine Scholarship Program with the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the University of the Philippines Manila (UPM) at the UP - College of Medicine on October 8, 2014.
                                                                                                                          
The MD-PhD in Molecular Medicine Scholarship Program is the first and only dual MD-PhD course offered in the Philippines that trains aspiring physician-scientists. It is a joint initiative of the DOST, through the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD), and UPM for human resource development in biomedical research.
 
This year, nine scholars qualified for program. All scholars graduated with honors in their respective bachelor’s degrees. Although the program requires a minimum of 90% rating at the National Medical Aptitude Test (NMAT), all scholars received 96% and above NMAT ratings, two of whom achieved a score of 100%.
 
In his message, Dr. Jaime C. Montoya, Executive Director of PCHRD-DOST, stressed that the program is the country’s initiative to ensure that  future a pool of scientists who are experts in both the clinical and research aspects of medical science. He said, “The program gives the MD-PhD scholars the opportunity to contribute to the advancement of medical knowledge. Who else will best advance our medical knowledge but the ones who know both sides: the science and the medicine?”

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and United Nations (UN) - World Food Programme (WFP) pushed for the distribution of Momsie, a ready-to eat supplementary food developed by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI),  during emergencies and disasters.

Made from monggo, soybeans, peanut, sesame seeds, oil, skimmed milk, margarine, cocoa, sugar, salt, and emulsifier, Momsie is packed with nutrients and protein to help prevent malnutrition in victims of disasters.
 
“It will be part of the food packs to be distributed during emergencies,” said Dr. Martin Parreño, National Program Officer of the WFP - Philippines, during the 2014 Dr. Juan Salcedo Memorial Lecture, a nutrition forum annually hosted by the Nutrition Foundation of the Philippine, Inc. (NFP) and supported by the Philippine Council for Health Research (PCHRD-DOST) last October 9, 2014.
 
Currently, the WFP imports supplementary food from France in its programs against acute malnutrition in the Philippines. Estimated to cost P10 per sachet of 25g and P100 per bottle of 300g, Momsie will be a more affordable alternative than the imported brands.
 
DOST and WFP are looking for private partners to adopt the technology.  According to Dr. Parreño, pharmaceutical and food companies have shown interest in investing in the ready-to-eat food technology

NFP

Nutrition experts pushed for the inclusion of nutrition interventions in times of disasters during the 2014 Dr. Juan Salcedo Memorial Lecture on October 9, 2014.
 
“Food and nutrition must be part of our initial response during disasters,” said Ms. Florinda Panlilio, Nutrition Program Coordinator of the National Nutrition Council - Region III (NCC-Region III). Stressing the importance of prioritizing victims’ nutritional status in times of calamities, she warned that acute malnutrition makes disaster victims vulnerable to infectious diseases and other health concerns.
 
Traditionally, patients with malnutrition are sent to hospitals or health centers for treatment. However, the approach can be disadvantageous to hospitals with limited resources or space. Especially in times of emergencies,  Ms. Panlilio  said that the approach can cause overcrowding of hospitals.
 
Dr. Martin Parreño, National Program Officer of the United Nations (UN) World Food Programme (WFP) - Philippines, recommended the integration of community management of acute malnutrition (CMAM) to national program on health, especially during emergencies.
 
CMAM is a strategic community-based intervention wherein children with acute malnutrition are treated at home, as opposed to the hospitals or medical clinics. It allows health workers to target children most vulnerable to acute malnutrition, conduct in depth screening, and provide selective feeding.
 
At the moment, the WFP recommends CMAM to countries that has 10% to 14% burden of malnutrition. Despite the country’s 7.9% burden, Dr. Parreño explained that the frequency of disasters makes the CMAM an ideal program for the Philippines.
 
With over one million young Filipinos suffering from acute malnutrition, Dr. Parreño said that the children are especially vulnerable during disasters. The integration of CMAM in disaster program will help save lives.
 
The 2014 Dr. Juan Salcedo Memorial Lecture, a nutrition forum annually hosted by the Nutrition Foundation of the Philippine, Inc. (NFP) and supported by the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (PCHRD-DOST).