- Written by Carla P. San Diego
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The delegates of the e-Asia Project Implementation Workshop on Pulmonary Infectious diseases induced/associated with influenza and TB.
The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) through the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) hosted the e-Asia Project Implementation Workshop on Pulmonary Diseases induced/associated with Influenza and Tuberculosis in Asia last 17-18 October 2016.
The two-day workshop commenced with project visits organized by the Philippine Influenza and Tuberculosis teams led by Dr. Marilla Lucero of the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) and Dr. Jaime C. Montoya of PCHRD, respectively. Project teams from Japan and Viet Nam were able to observe the project developments of studies conducted at RITM and at the Tuberculosis - Directly Observed Treatment Shortcourse (TB-DOTS) Center in San Juan, Batangas through the research collaboration.
Member-countries presented their respective project progress reports and research outcomes during the second-day of the workshop. On behalf of Dr. Rowena Cristina L. Guevara, DOST Undersecretary for Research and Development, DOST Assistant Secretary for International Cooperation, Dr. Leah Buendia delivered a message of support to the goal of the project – improving health outcomes in East Asia, particularly on influenza- and TB-induced diseases mitigation. “With the e-Asia project, we are closer to the time when tuberculosis and influenza will no longer be a public threat… I am very positive that all our research efforts will lead to a better health status for the East Asian region, particularly in alleviating influenza and tuberculosis prevalence,” she quoted.
e-Asia Project Leader Dr. Kazuo Suzuki of Teikyo University presented the research activities conducted by the teams since the project launched. Through the e-Asia project, member-countries were able to assess the rate of influenza and tuberculosis prevalence in their country. Detection of different strains of the viruses was also improved.
Japan tuberculosis team member, Dr. Naoto Keicho of the Research Institute of Tuberculosis JATA Tokyo, introduced some latest advancements in TB research – advanced spoligotyping softwares and next generation sequencer. Viet Nam influenza team leader, Dr. Phung Thi Bich Thuy, also shared how the e-Asia project promoted capacity building for the Viet Nam Children's Hospital staff in the detection and culture of the influenza virus.
The delegates of the e-Asia Project Implementation Workshop on Pulmonary Infectious diseases induced/associated with influenza and TB
As of September 2016, the Philippine influenza team reported that more consultations/admissions were reported in public health centers (66%) than in hospitals i.e. UP-Philippine General Hospital (26%) and Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (8%). Meanwhile, Dr. Anna Maria Lena Lopez of the University of the Philippines reported the findings of the Philippine tuberculosis team and reported a low prevalence of TB in children in San Juan, Batangas. The annualized TB notification rate for the disease has also gone up from 170 to 210 per 100,000 population. The surveillance study also led to the commencement of a TB study on children from San Juan, Batangas to Los Banos, Laguna.
The e-Asia project on pulmonary infectious diseases is set to end this 2016. Future plans of the project teams include request to continued research pursuits on influenza and TB mitigation as well as on other diseases that need to be addressed in the East Asian region e.g. non-communicable diseases, cancer, and lifestyle diseases.