2018-2020 DOH HPSR Fellows complete research defense, to soon join DOST-PCHRD and DOH's cadre of young health policy and systems researchers

In an effort to strengthen individual, institutional, and sectoral research capacity in the Philippines, the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD) partners with various host institutions, offering opportunities to researchers to benefit from and contribute to the development of new knowledge and drive innovation in the field of health research.

One of the long-standing partnerships formed by the Council is with the Department of Health - Health Policy Development and Planning Bureau (DOH-HPDPB) for the implementation of the DOH - Health Policy and Systems Research (DOH HPSR) Fellowship Program under the DOH - Advancing Health through Evidence-Assisted Decisions (DOH-AHEAD) strategy.

The two-year program aims to establish a cadre of young professionals with the appropriate knowledge, skills and attitude to appraise and conduct high quality health policy and systems research. DOST-PCHRD facilitates the applicant screening process, disbursement of financial incentives, and monitoring of the fellows’ development and progress all throughout the program.

Last June 29, a virtual research defense was conducted for the 2018-2020 DOH HPSR fellows and interns as one of their final requirements for the conferment of the program’s certificate of completion. Two study groups presented their completed research proposals to panelists from the DOH and external experts.

The first study group presented the current situation of public health financing schemes in terms of equitable access for family planning services. The second study group presented the assessment of the Philippine National AIDS Council’s implementation of multisectoral approach on HIV/AIDS response in the country to gain understanding of the elements that make multisectoral approach function effectively to achieve health sector goals.

Since 2012, the HPSR Fellowship Program was able to capacitate more than 200 young and emerging health research fellows whose research outputs have already been used in improving health programs and services for the Filipino people. Some of these outputs include research on “Rapid HIV Diagnostic Algorithm (rHIVda) for the Philippines,” “GeneXpert (Xpert MTB/Rif) in Multi-Drug Resistant Tuberculosis,” and “ECMO for Pulmonary Hemorrhage Secondary to Leptospirosis.”