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“The healthcare services sector is expected to continuously propel ASEAN’s growth and economic activity,” the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) stated while calling for the need to invest in health care of ASEAN member countries.

According to ASEAN, healthcare providers are dared to improve their skills and resources as life expectancy in the region is expected to be greater compared to other Asian countries. “As communicable diseases have successfully been placed under control and infant mortality ratio improves, focus in many ASEAN countries has shifted to treating chronic diseases and injuries which are top death causes,” ASEAN explained.

Due to higher income in the market, the Association also said that healthcare have expanded their services to aesthetic surgery, assisted reproductive technologies, sports skills rehabilitation, and weight loss centers, among others.

In order to provide better health care services, ASEAN also stated that their member countries are expected to boost their health spending like Singapore which plans to add 3,700 hospital beds and recruit 20,000 healthcare workers.

ASEAN added the importance of the contributions of private sectors to health like the Bangkok Dusit Medical Services in Thailand which invested on highly profitable non-core medical businesses, the Makati Medical Centre in the Philippines which is investing on new laboratories for disease diagnosis and treatment improvement, and the Vinmec International Hospital in Vietnam which became the country’s largest and first hotel-like hospital offering five-star hotel standard.

Medical tourism, on the other hand, also provides investments because of the increasing number of foreign patients in the region’s world-class medical facilities.

ASEAN commits to liberalize healthcare and facilitate movement of medical, dental and other healthcare practitioners,” the Association emphasized.

To further learn about the importance of increasing investment in the health sector, you can also attend the Global Forum on Research and Innovation for Health (Forum 2015) on 24-27 August 2015, at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC). Visit www.forum2015.orgfor more details.

You can also click this link to view the ASEAN statement.

Aside from plenary sessions, there are fun and exciting activities especially for the youth during the Global Forum on Research and Innovation for Health (Forum 2015) on 24-27 August 2015 at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC).

Among the youth activities to look forward to are IT4Health, Global Health Debates (GHD) and Film Festival.

With the overall theme “People at the Centre of Research and Innovation for Health,” the activities aim to further discuss the topics on Social Accountability, Increasing Investments, Country-driven Capacity Building, Food and Nutrition Safety and Security, Health in Mega-Cities, and Disaster-risk Reduction.

IT4Health targets to promote information technology (IT) solutions or big data analytics arising from the topics. Programmers or software developers will be invited to submit their innovative health applications. The top three developers will then be given chances to present their ideas during the Forum and undergo social incubation, a 5-day training workshops to learn techniques in making their ideas more marketable and sustainable.

GHD, on the other hand, brings youth to discuss pressing global health issues and gather their interests and insights to the different forum topics. As the tournament will be held simultaneously with the Forum, debaters will also have the chance to listen in the plenary sessions and gain insights on health research and innovation developments globally.

There will also be a Film Festival which is open to all amateur and professional film makers who can produce short films, documentaries and motion animations related to the forum topics. Winners of the film festival will also be awarded during the Forum.

If you are interested to participate, you can visit The Forum 2015 is organized by the Council on Health Research for Development (COHRED), in partnership with the Philippine Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and Department of Health (DOH).

The National Book Development Board (NBDB), the government agency mandated to develop and support the Philippine book publishing industry, has recently launched a call for applications for the National Book Development Trust Fund (NBDTF) Grant for 2015. Authors and organizations are invited to submit at least 25% of their manuscripts or research works for books. The chosen works will receive a grant of P200,000.00 each.

Manuscripts/research works for books should be on any of the following:

1. Local History and Culture (written in Filipino, English, or any Philippine language)

Local history includes the history of places, people, and events defined by a geographical area in the Philippines (cities, towns, barangays, local government, and regional areas). It also includes the culture and characteristics of the people represented in the local community.

2. Traditional Medicine / Integrative Medicine / Tropical Medicine

Traditional Medicine includes knowledge, skills, and practices based on the theories, beliefs, and experiences indigenous to cultures in the Philippines that are used in the maintenance of health, as well as in the prevention, diagnosis, improvement, or treatment of physical and mental illness.

Integrative Medicine includes knowledge, skills, practices, developments, and achievements related to medical care that combines traditional and modern medicine.

Tropical Medicine includes research on the diagnosis, prevention, control, and treatment of tropical and/or infectious diseases, particularly those of public health importance or are major causes of morbidity and mortality in the Philippines.

3. Food Science and Technology / Organic Agriculture / Sustainable Agriculture / Agritourism

Food Science and Technology includes research, novel theories, and technologies related to the production, processing, packaging, storage, distribution, preparation, and marketing of food and food products in the Philippines, particularly rice and rice-based products, local crops, traditional fermented food, and fish and other marine products. It may cover food and ingredient origins, discoveries in procurement of raw ingredients/materials, and food security issues and challenges in the country.

Organic Agriculture includes research on methods of agriculture that exclude the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.

Sustainable Agriculture includes research on agricultural and natural systems that focus on long-term ecological health.

Agritourism includes research on tourism in the Philippines that focuses on agriculturally based operations or activities.

4. Popular Science

Popular science includes research on Filipino robotics and Filipino inventions. It may also cover research on programs and/or competitions that support Filipino designers and inventors including students.

Deadline for submissions is on May 31, 2015. click to download the following: Application Form , Submission Guidelines and Implementing Rules and Regulations of the NBDTF. For queries, please send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Global Forum on Research and Innovation on Health Forum 2015 opens channel for discussion on some of the most pressing health issues worldwide through the Global Health Debates on 23-27 August 2015 in Manila, Philippines.

The Global Health Debates is an international debating tournament that will bring the best collegiate debaters from all around the globe to Manila for an exciting week of battle of wits, ideas, and knowledge on relevant international health issues.

The tournament will follow the British Parliamentary Format of debate with various talking points to be derived from the topics tackled in the sessions of Global Forum on Research and Innovation for Health 2015.

The Adjudication Core, the group of presiding officials during the tournament, is composed of some of the world’s celebrated debaters including Dr. Lee Edson P. Yarcia of UP Diliman College of Law, Mr. Syed Saddiq of International Islamic University of Malaysia, Ms. Gemma Buckley of Monash University, Mr. John McKee of University of Glasgow, Mr. Dan Corder of the University of Cape Town, and Mr. Josh Zofer of Harvard University.

Teams of debaters with strong health background from all over the world are expected to participate in the tournament. The grand champion will walk away with US$3,000 prize.

The Global Health Debates is organized by Health Sector Catalysts (HSC) and the University of the Philippines Manila - Debate Circle (UPMDC). For more information, please visit or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..




We must recognize the urgent need to expand prevention measures and quality-assured diagnostic testing and treatment to reduce the human suffering caused by malaria,” stated World Health Organization (WHO) Assistant Director-General for HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases Dr. Hiroki Nakatani, in celebration of the World Malaria Day on 25 April 2015.

Malaria is a disease caused by parasites known as Plasmodium which are transmitted to people through infected Anopheles mosquito bites. According to the latest data of WHO, there were about 198 million malaria cases and 584, 000 deaths in 2013.

Among the first symptoms of malaria which appear 7-15 days after the bite are fever, headache, chills and vomiting. This could also lead to death when not treated within 24 hours.

WHO recommended that all suspected cases should be confirmed by parasite-based diagnostic testing before applying the treatment. According to WHO, the best available treatment is artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs). Artemisinin are isolated from sweet wormwood plant (Artemisia annua) which are powerful medicines known for their ability to reduce the number of Plasmodium parasites in the blood of malaria patients.

WHO also emphasized the need for most vulnerable groups like pregnant women, children under 5 and infants to receive preventive treatments like anti-malarial drugs to reduce the risk of infection.

WHO also added that a new global malaria strategy for 2016-2030 was also developed to reduce the disease burden by 40% in 2020 and 90% by 2030. The strategy also aims to eliminate the disease in at least 35 countries by 2030.

We must take the malaria fight to the next level. Moving towards elimination will require high-level political commitment and robust financing, including substantial new investments in disease surveillance, health systems strengthening and research,” stated Dr. Pedro Alonso, Director of the WHO Global Malaria Programme.

Further information on World Malaria Day 2015 can be viewed at and further details about malaria can be seen at ■