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LepCon advocates sign Memorandum of Understanding at the 2nd JCC Meeting

Dr. Manuel Agulto and Mr. Masanori Kurisu shook each others hands after signing the MOU.

Dr. Manuel B. Agulto, Chancellor of the University of the Philippines Manila (UPM), Dr. Nina G. Gloriani, Dean of the UPM - College of Public Health (UPM-CPH), Mr. Masanori Kurisu of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), on behalf of the JICA Chief Representative Mr. Takahiro Sasaki, and Prof. Shin-Ichi Yoshida of Kyushu University (KU) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to formalize the agreement on the result of discussions at the 2nd Joint Coordinating Meeting (JCC Meeting) of the Japanese Technical Cooperation for the Project on Prevention and Control of Leptospitosis in the Philippines (LepCon), held at the Lara Hall, UPM-CPH on January 26, 2012.

LepCon is a program under the collaboration of the signing parties, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (PCHRD-DOST) that aims to form various research collaborations between Filipino and Japanese scientists to enhance the prevention and control of leptospirosis in the country. The program officially commenced on April 01, 2010.

The 2nd JCC Meeting shed light on the implemented activities in LepCon program over the past year such as conducting counterpart training between experts of UPM-CPH and KU, carrying out both local and international conferences, establishing a LepCon laboratory, and also the progresses made by the four working groups in bacteriological surveillance of leptospirosis, burden of disease, development of diagnostic kits for antigen detection, evaluation of diagnostic kits for antibody detection development of vaccines and epidemiology. Other important issues like future plans for project implementation and coordination with other agencies were also tackled.

After signing the MOU, Dean Gloriani mentioned the possibility for the overseas expansion of LepCon, granted that the program continues with its mission to help in the control and promotion of leptospirosis in the Philippines.

She said, “LepCon will continue to grow and pursue its mission in the control and promotion of leptospirosis in the Philippines. We hope that we could further expand this undertaking with the rest of Southeast Asia and, possibly, the rest of the world.”