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PCHRD-DOST empowers local researchers to do research on disaster risk reduction

The Philippine Council for Health Research and Development - Department of Science and Technology (PCHRD-DOST) conducts workshops in different regions of the country to encourage and capacitate young researchers on frameworks for conducting disaster health research developed by Dr. Marvin Birnbaum, President of The World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine.

The workshop provides tools to enhance the understanding of health disasters for improvement of the costs of responses and for enhancement of preparedness through research.

The series of workshops started during the Philippine National Health Research System Week on 8-9 August 2016 in Puerto Princesa, Palawan. It was followed by workshops in Manila on 19-21 September, CARAGA on 26-27 September and 24-26 October and Central Visayas on 20-21 October and 8-10 November 2016.

After the completion of workshops where 77 young researchers from 31 institutions in MIMAROPA, CARAGA, and Central Visayas Regions were trained, the Council will be conducting the Presentation of Proposal for Review Forum at the Golden Prince Hotel, Cebu City on December 5-6, 2016. The Forum aims to bring together the participants who have ready proposals to present to the PCHRD DRR Team and other experts for technical review.

Dr. Birnbaum first introduced the frameworks during the Global Forum on Research and Innovation for Health in 2015 which inspired the Council to capacitate local researchers in the region in conducting disaster research.

To date, there are only few empirical research conducted on disaster in the country. As a result there is lack of evidence-based guidance on mitigation, preparedness and response, and recovery.

According to Dr. Jaime C. Montoya, PCHRD Executive Director, these workshops was conceived as an initial step towards filling that knowledge and evidence gap and there are more efforts in the future to look forward to as the Council remains steadfast in their commitment to develop a national research program on disaster risk reduction.