In Zumarraga town in Samar, an Inter-island Health Referral System - Strengthening through one facility, one health service boat project was adopted to address access barriers to women in need of facility-based deliveries. Dr. Katerina Nono-Abiertas, founder of the One Health Service boat, explains that the set-up enables patients to access health centers by having boats ferry them to maternity units.

Initially, they started with one boat that had to cater 25 barangays in Zumarraga. At present, four low-cost, fuel-efficient, and cost effective service boats were added to the fleet after donations came in from other doctors.  

According to the Asian Development Bank, there are 114 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births in the Philippines in 2017.  Through facility and service improvements and promotion of facility-based deliveries, an increase in facility-based births results in fewer women dying at home and better postpartum care. But for geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas (GIDA), reaching the said facilities prove to be a significant hurdle.

Dr. Nono-Abiertas shared that by training health personnel, engaging the mayor and barangay health workers, developing an ordinance, and creating a hotline to contact the center, they were able to develop a system that not only provided access to GIDAs, but they also managed to change the delivery of health services and enhanced the health workers’ motivation.

The innovation is in the financial model which was developed to create sustainability by upgrading and expanding maternal health facilities to become accredited by PhilHealth, which in turn, will enable the facility to receive reimbursements to fund the operation and maintenance of the sea ambulances. Through this set-up, facility-based deliveries rose from 20% to 90%, created employment for men as boat operators, and improved the health workers’ morale and motivation.

Dr. Nono-Abiertas emphasized in her presentation the need to care for health workers, saying “If we really want people-centered health systems, people should not come first, health workers should come first,” and that by ensuring the people working on the ground are cared for, effective patient care will follow.

Lastly, she added the importance of first-hand field experience and empathizing with the community, inviting other researchers and stakeholders to visit the field and find time to work with the communities.

The One Health Boat project is one of the top five models of social innovations in the country recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Social Innovation in Health Initiative (SIHI). Dr. Nono-Abiertas was invited to be part of the panel discussion on Research on Social Innovations in Health during PCHRD’s 36th anniversary celebration on March 16 at the Philippine International Convention Center.

 

WHO Scientist Dr. Bernadette Ramirez gave emphasis on the importance of participatory research in health during her keynote speech at the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development 36th Anniversary last March 16, 2018 at the Philippine International Convention Center, Roxas Boulevard, Manila.

According to Dr. Ramirez, one of the objectives of participatory research in health studies is capacity building. “We actually have one goal which is capacity building for research. Capacity building means strengthening our ties with individuals and communities through involvement when it comes to health research and innovation.”

Dr. Ramirez defined community involvement as a process of engaging with communities to form a dialogue and/or collaboration at the grass roots level. She explained that in health research, including people in the process means providing what the people actually needs instead of delivering research results and research products aimlessly.

Participatory research sees communities as co-producer of knowledge and action. She added that the benefits of including individuals and communities in the dialogue of health research and innovation does not only encourage them to take action and responsibility for their own health but also fosters change in people.

She stated that the problem in the current health research practices is the need of the communities, “Ang mentality kasi natin ay one-size fits all; we forget that in health research, we are actually dealing with people. We need transformative change. We don’t want to be stuck in one size fits all because people come in different shapes and sizes.”

Dr. Ramirez explained that we should move forward from this practice and start banking on personalized healthcare that is more understanding of what is important to the people and community. The on-going evolution and demand for quality healthcare necessitate a parallel need for professional development with guided principle that is rooted in the needs of the people.

She urges everyone to take part in creating and providing a better healthcare to millions of Filipinos. Dr. Ramirez said, “Health research is multi-trans disciplinary; we need to combine our expertise. We have to understand our problems together. Healthcare is a complex problem and a complex problem requires a complete set of system to address that problem.”

In the end, she reiterated and reminded everyone that research on social innovation in health accompanied by community involvement is key in developing better healthcare system and programs.

Call for Proposals

PhilHealth STUDIES: Informal Economy Segmentation Study

PhilHealth and PCHRD, together with the International Labour Organization (ILO), are inviting researchers (affiliated with research organizations) to submit proposals for the Informal Economy Segmentation Study: Towards Universal Health Coverage in Philippines – Reaching and Retaining Members in the Informal Sector.

The project Terms of References can be downloaded HERE. 

We encourage interested parties to submit their capsule proposals via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and attach the following documents by April 16, 2018:

1. Letter of Intent
2. Curriculum Vitae of Lead Researcher
3. Profile of Institution
4. Capsule Proposal Format 

If you have queries, please contact Mr. Marc Enrico Hasta @ (02)837-75-34 or 83 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

JSPS International Fellowships for Research in Japan
Postdoctoral Fellowships for Research in Japan
Invitational Fellowships for Research in Japan
FY 2018 (2018-2019) Application Guideline

The Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) carries out programs that provide overseas researchers who have an excellent record of research achievements with an opportunity to conduct collaborative research, discussions, and opinion exchanges with researchers in Japan. These programs are intended to help advance the overseas researchers' research activities while promoting science and internationalization in Japan.

FIELDS OF RESEARCH

All fields of the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences are included under this program.

NOTICE

(1) JSPS Electronic Application System
Host researchers are required to use the JSPS Electronic Application System when applying for fellowships.

Please refer to JSPS’s website for more details on JSPS Electronic Application System.
(http://www-shinsei.jsps.go.jp/topkokusai/top_kokusai.html)
If you have already obtained the applicant ID of international exchange projects, you do not need to ask your affiliated institution to issue the new ID and password.

(2) Application periods (for host institution)
Applications must be submitted to JSPS by a host researcher in Japan via the head of his/her university or institution. Overseas researchers wishing to participate in the program are advised to establish contact with a
Japanese or foreign-resident researcher in their field and to ask him/her to submit an application. They should make this contact well in advance of the host institution’s application deadline (depending on the institution, it may have its own deadline more than one month before the application deadline set by JSPS).

For more information, visit www.jsps.go.jp 

Communication experts shared their experiences, best practices, and effective ways to engage audience during the 36th Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) Anniversary Session - Engaged: Communicating Health Research in Everyday Language at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) on 16 March 2018.

Thirty-five (35) Philippine National Health Research System (PNHRS) research utilization committee members from regional health research and development consortia learned how to effectively communicate health research and improve audience engagement through use of simpler language and laymanized terms.

Dr. Cecilia Acuin, Senior Scientist of the International Rice Research Institute and Chair of the Research Utilization Committee of the Philippine National Health Research System (PNHRS) started the session by giving a presentation on Trust in Science: The Role of Communication. She emphasized the responsibility of health research communicators in developing and maintaining trust with their audience by addressing misconceptions and supporting statements with facts.

Mr. James Mendoza, Chief Executive Officer of Maroon Studios, discussed website content management and highlighted the importance of security and website design to users.

Mr. Ron Villagonzalo, co-founder of the Philippine Bloggers Network and Ms. Rosario Juan, CEO of Commune discussed analytics, creating a voice, brand, and style for social media pages and explained how current pop culture trends could be harnessed to create engaging and meaningful posts.

Rounding the roster of speakers for the session was University of the Philippines Los Banos, College of Development Communication Dean, Dr. Ma. Theresa Velasco, who shared that establishment of the vision, mission, and goals can set the working standards and policies for effectively communicating and disseminating health research results.

The Council organized the Engaged: Communicating Health Research in Everyday Language as a parallel session during the 36th PCHRD Anniversary to assist the research utilization committee members in their communication efforts and dissemination of research results in their respective regions.