Health officials and workers can now monitor the prevalence and magnitude of diseases through Geographic Information System (GIS).

GIS captures, stores, checks and displays data related to Earth’s surface. It has the capacity to analyze and understand the patterns that can help in generating different information such as disease-causing agents and magnitude to be integrated on a single map, and thus, allows detection and management of possible disease outbreaks.

Presented by Dr. Lydia Leonardo, a Professor of parasitology at the 16th University of the Philippines Manila during the National Institutes of Health Anniversary, GIS technology was used in her study on surveillance of schistosomiasis, a disease acquired from fresh water infested with the larval forms of parasitic blood flukes.

Using GIS, researchers identified various endemic barangays in Calatrava, Negros Occidental and Gonzaga, Cagayan. The GIS maps of the snail sites also revealed the spatial distribution as well as direction of dispersal of snails based on elevation and direction of water flow.  With this analytical capability of GIS, it can aid in the planning of cost-effective and efficient schistosomiasis surveillance activities. As Dr. Leonardo put it, “Crucial to disease elimination in these endemic areas is an efficient surveillance system that would monitor transmission of disease. “

In Quezon City, health officer Dr. Antonieta Inumerable shared that GIS helped identify measles and dengue cases among its barangays, enhancing decision-making on immediate interventions and avoiding disease outbreak. 

GIS is one of the initiatives of the University of the Philippines National Telehealth Center aimed at improving health care delivery.

The Philippine Association of Medical Journal Editors (PAMJE), in cooperation with the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (PCHRD-DOST), calling all designers, graphic artists, students, and professionals to a logo design contest.

PAMJE, a non-governmental organization that strives to raise the quality of medical and health-related journal publishing in the Philippines, is in need of a visual identity, a logo design that would represent and embody the organization.

Organization’s objectives are as follows:

1.      encourage collaboration and facilitate communication among medical and health journal editors in the Philippines and the Asia Pacific Region;


2.      improve editorial standards and promote professionalism in medical editing through education, self-assessment, and self-governance;


3.      facilitate scholarly research writing and peer-review processes through training workshops, seminars and other activities; and


4.      foster the continuing education of medical and health journal editors, reviewers, editorial staff, publishers and librarians in the country.

Logo Contest Guidelines:

 

  1. The contest is open to all interested parties except to employees of DOST-PCHRD and PAMJE members.
  2. The logo design must correspond to the PAMJE’s Mission and Objectives.
  3. Designs must be in JPEG and PSD format with 300 dpi or higher.
  4. Criteria for judging the logo design includes:
    1. Uniqueness and Content. A new design that will speak about the organization’s mission.
    2. Scalability – readability and impact from small and large logo reproduction
    3. Adaptability for all media use.
    4. Overall Design. Quality of logo and overall impact.
  5. The organizer has exclusive ownership, copyright, and control over the use of the original winning design in all forms and formats. The organizers may reproduce in any format; all or any portion of the design, and distribute any reproductions of the logo design.
  6. Contest winner will receive a cash prize of P10, 000.
  7. The winning artist will be notified by phone call and email.
  8. Deadline for submission of entries is until March 28, 2014.
  9. Entries must be submitted via mail c/o Meychell S. Angoy, PCHRD-DOST, 3F DOST Main Bldg., Gen. Santos Ave., Bicutan, Taguig City or sent through email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it./ This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  

 
Dr. Regina E. Estuar at eHealth summit 2014

This 2014, Ateneo researchers will integrate the PhilHealth’s outpatient benefit package and claims system on “eHaTID”, a software application in an android tablet that offers real-time access to health information among local government units (LGUs) and medical doctors.

First introduced by Dr. Regina E. Estuar, Director of Ateneo Java Wireless and Competency Center during the eHealth summit 2014, this innovation will improve the efficiency and transparency on health information using a software application. The eHaTID of LGUs, also known as “eHealth TABLET for Informed Decision-making of Local Government Units,” is an offshoot project of the Ateneo de Manila University’s “eHealth TABLET”, led by Dr. Dennis Batangan.

The first version of eHaTID featured only an Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system that provided summaries of medical data through graphs and charts.

With the improved version of eHaTID, the doctors and mayor of a particular municipality can access not only the current health status of their constituents but also PhilHealth records of benefits and claims.

Researchers set to deploy android tablets with eHaTID to 200 municipalities, specifically to local health units. 

Though issues like instability of internet connection were raised in some pre-tested municipalities, Dr. Estuar emphasized that there was high adoption of eHaTID among LGUs, based on the data of its usage in ten pre-tested areas.

The project is continuously funded by the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology.

Today, 32% of young Filipinos aged 15-24 has engaged in pre-marital sex (PMS), 9% higher than 2002 survey, according to the results of 2013 Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality (YAFS 4) study.

YAFS 4 is the latest national survey on the Filipino youth aged 15 to 24 years old, tackling information on sexual and non-sexual risk behaviors, and its determinants at the national and regional levels.

In 2002 survey, the percentage of young women engaged in PMS was only 16% while young men showed 31.2%. Ten years later, 28.7% of young women now have PMS experience compared to 35.5% among young men.  

Researchers reported that 78% of the youth’s first PMS was done without any form of protective contraception, which indicated their higher risks of pregnancy and/or sexually-transmitted infections. In fact, the percentage of pregnancy among young women aged 15-19 also doubled from 6.3% to 13.6%.

Youth also revealed that 7.3% of them already engaged in casual sex and 3.5% had FUBU experience (regular sex without emotional attachment).

“Clearly, what we see here is not only the increasing level of premarital sexual engagement of young people, but that it has also evolved into other forms of sexual activities. The more worrisome though is the fact that most of these activities go unprotected,” said Prof. Maria Paz Marquez, one of the authors of the study.

While more youth need protection on risky sexual activities and new young mothers urgently call for better reproductive health services, the Supreme Court is yet to issue a final decision on the pending implementation of Reproductive Health (RH) act. The law hopes to improve access on reproductive health services and education, particularly among youth.

This study is conducted by the University of the Philippines Population Institute (UPPI) and the Demographic Research and Development Foundation, and co-funded by the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (PCHRD-DOST), Australian Government, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and the Department of Health (DOH).

The Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) will celebrate its 32nd Anniversary on 14 March 2014, at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel, Makati City.

With the theme, “The Filipino Resilience in Crisis: Connecting Health R&D and Emergency Health Management,” the forum will focus on how health R&D can help in improving the country’s capacity to manage health situations in times of crises.

Champions of health and health research will grace the event including Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Enrique T. Ona, Department of Science and Technology Secretary (DOST) Mario G. Montejo and DOH Undersecretary Teodoro J. Herbosa. Albay Governor Jose Clemente S. Salceda will be the anniversary keynote speaker.

One of the event highlights is the signing of the Forum Agreement for the 2015 Global Health Forum for Health Research.

The parallel sessions, in the afternoon, will include topics on DNA forensic identification, environmental health and HIV and the diseases of the elderly. Afterwards, the PCHRD Scholars’ Society, the Philippine Association of Medical Journal Editors (PAMJE) and Philippine Clinical Research Infrastructure Network (PhilCRINET) will have their respective forums.

PCHRD, one of the three sectoral councils of the Department of Science and Technology (PCHRD-DOST), is the lead national agency responsible for coordination and monitoring of health research initiatives in the country. Through the years, PCHRD has advocated for a strong health research culture and mobilized resources to generate knowledge, technology and innovations to uplift the Philippine health care.