On April 25, the world will commemorate World Malaria Day with the theme, “Sustain Gains, Save Lives: Invest in Malaria.”

“Good health must lie at the core of any successful response to ageing. If we can ensure that people are living healthier as well as longer lives, the opportunities will be greater and the costs to society less. Overwhelmingly the health challenges in older age are the consequences of non-communicable disease. We need to develop health systems which can provide the chronic care that these diseases and their risk factors require,” said Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) at the celebration of the World Health Day on April 7 in Geneva, Switzerland.

 
Dr. Raul V. Destura, Director of the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology of the National Institutes of Health


“Research gaps are unmet needs in your research. You have to identify what is really needed in the field and have an open mind,” explained Dr. Raul V. Destura, Director of the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology of the National Institutes of Health (IMBB-NIH) in a lecture organized by the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) last March 01, 2012.

“There are gaps in infectious diseases research that need to be identified and addressed, especially in these three diseases – dengue, tuberculosis and influenza,” said Dr. Destura.

Each year, almost half a million babies and children become ill with tuberculosis (TB) and as many as 70,000 are estimated to die because of the disease. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), children under 3 years of age and those with severe malnutrition or weakened immune systems are at greatest risk for developing TB.

“Basta magtulungan mabubuhay at maililigtas and mga batang may kanser sa Pilipinas! [As long as we help one another we can save the lives of children afflicted with cancer in the Philippines],” said Senate Health and Demography Committee Chair Senator Pia Cayetano.