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DOST Hosts Online Health Portal

MANILA, Philippines --- Experts and other health enthusiasts now have an online community where important health issues affecting Filipinos can be voiced out, with the first topic on virgin coconut oil (VCO).

It’s the eHealth Philippines, or the Philippine Electronic Health Information Village, actually introduced in 1998, which was given a new face in 2003, but encountered some issues in 2008, which led to its deactivation.

The Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD) has partnered with the Institute for Philippine Culture of the Ateneo de Manila University (IPC, ADMU) to redevelop the PCHRD’s eHealth portal program.

It was, then, re-launched last November through the Web site http://ehealth.ph.

Obviously, any health topic under the sun maybe ventilated, but “special focus” during the re-launch was on the Drug Discovery and Development Program (DDDP) of the PCHRD.

As one of the attached 19 agencies of the DOST, PCHRD’s tasks include coming up with policies, plans, projects, and strategies on science and technology, among others.

The PCHRD funds researches for the discovery of new medicines from natural sources, such as from herbal plants. With a “Tuklas-Lunas” Center already set up by the agency – two more are in the pipeline.

The PCHRD and IPC-ADMU hosted a public forum Tuesday at the IPC conference room, called “Ang Virgin Coconut Oil at Tawa-Tawa sa Programa ng Halamang Gamot sa Pilipinas.”

Also introduced at the event were the partners’ eHealth Successor Projects, such as the eHealth Sector Wide Approach (SWA) and eHealth Technology Assisted Boards for Local Government Unit (LGU) Efficiency and Transparency (TABLET).

Merlita Opena, division chief of the PCHRD’s Research Information, Communication, and Utilization, cited the portal’s significance.

She said that aside from experts, even the ordinary citizens with access to the Internet can log in on at eHealth Philippines, join the forum, and ask questions, or learn from the members’ discussions.

As she assured of the PCHRD’s continuing support. “DOST, in particular PCHRD, is pleased to work with you in giving life to eHealth,” said Opena, describing it as a community organizing on the Internet.

The eHealth Philippines, she added, “is a partnership of public, private, and civil society. We trust that all of us are on the same page.”

Dennis Batangan, research associate at the IPC-ADMU, discussed at yesterday’s forum eHealth Philippines as a venue for discussions on health topics.

“It is a health information village, a portal of DOST,” said Batangan.

“Basically, it is an online community on health-related researches. It is a venue where researchers, service providers, and the general public converge,” he added.


Source: http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/390751/dost-hosts-online-health-portal#.UQHBqWF57IU