Last August 15-17, 2017, the Universiti Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in coordination with Pasteur Institute of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam organized the 3rd International Conference on Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease at Premiera Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The theme of the conference was "Global Challenges in Emerging and Reemerging Infectious Disease". It focused on three major issues in public health namely: Vaccination, Antimicrobial Drug Resistance and Zoonoses.

The keynote speech was delivered by Dr. Cheong Chee Kheong of Ministry of Health, Malaysia. He emphasized the importance of series of discussions among scientists, academicians and technologists on various aspects of combating new threats in emerging and reemerging diseases. More than 200 scientists from 15 countries participated in the event. Of which more than 40 researchers presented their papers.

Undersecretary of Department of Health Dr. Gerardo V. Bayugo presented the Philippines' Experience on Zika virus while Dr. Norbel A. Tabo of De La Salle University-Dasmarinas presented his PCHRD-funded research titled "Prevalence of Leptospira in abbatoir workers, slaughtered animals and abbatoir environment in Cavite, Philippines".

Dr. Tabo focused his discussion on the continual source of leptospires and the presence of common serovars in abbatoir worker-slaughtered animal-abbatoir environment interface could pose problems on human health. The serovars identified could be potential candidates for the development of vaccines and diagnostic tests.

The conference provided an avenue for researchers to search for solutions to problems not only on drug discoveries but also on strategies combatting new biological threats.

The MIMAROPA Health Research and Development Consortium (MHRDC), the youngest regional health research consortium in the Philippine National Health Research System (PNHRS) visited the Region 1 Health Research and Development Consortium (R1HRDC) on June 27-29, 2017 to benchmark the best practices that made the latter consortium succeed.

A meet and talk session that was held at Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital and Medical Center (MMMH&MC) in Batac City Ilocos Norte in which the R1HRDC's organizational structure was discussed together with how the consortium runs the organization in a resilient, effective and efficient manner that made it become a well established one. They also visited the Tuklas Lunas Center situated at Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) Batac City, Ilocos Norte.

Participants from MIMAROPA region were composed of Prof. Marissa Pontillas (Chair, MHRDC),Dr. Patrick Regoniel (Director, MHRDC), Mr. Marvin Plata (Chair, ERC), Dr. Romeo Lerom (Chair, R&D), Dr. Diosdado Zulueta (Chair, CBC), Dr. Virginia Alkiate, Ms. Sol Theresa Logo, Mr. Hagari Toyokan, Mr. Justine Byla-ay (CHED MIMAROPA), Ms. Sabrina Elechosa (SRS II, DOST-PCHRD),Mr.Jezreel Sarabia (member,ERC), Ms. Rhoda Lyn Ramos (DOST MIMAROPA-Project Staff), Ms. Angela Kaye Reyes, Ms. Janet Cayabyab and Ms. Angelie SOngco (DOH-MIMAROPA).

Imparting the strategies and techniques from region 1 were Dr. Maria Lourdes K. Otayza, chair R1HRDC, Dr. Jose B. Orosa III, chair R&D, Dr. Mercita Queddeng, chair RUC, Dr. Hilarion H. Maramba Jr.,chair ERC with members Dr. Larguita Reotutar, Dr. Marivic Alimbuyuguen and Ms. Anita Criste and Ms. Lucila Roja from DOST-PCHRD.

This undertaking along with the support of the R1HRDC and the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) is one of MHRDC's ways to achieve their mission to be the catalyst of change not only in research but also in the health of the MIMAROPA Region.

The Western Visayas Health Research and Development Consortium (WVHRDC) conducted a training on Data Management and Report Writing on June 19-22, 2017 at the DOST VI- Training Room. Attending the training were 11 trainees that included the Consortium’s health research training scholars, health researchers, and health research instructors from member institutions of the Consortium. The training consisted of lectures and workshops.

The resource persons for the training included Professor Carolyn Yoro from the Central Philippine University who lectured on the topic Data Management and Appreciation. Professor Leah Araneta from the University of the Philippines Visayas gave a lecture on various topics, including description of data, basic concepts of Statistics, data presentations, and types of parametric and non-parametric statistical tools. Prof. Araneta also gave a workshop on preparing a coding manual and coding file, and supervised a hands-on practice on how to navigate a statistical software, encode data, process data, and generate results. A day was also spent by the trainees to process, analyse, interpret, and write a portion of their on-going researches. The output of the trainees were presented on the last day for comments by Dr. Alice Joan Ferrer from the University of the Philippines Visayas and currently the executive director of the Consortium. Dr. Ferrer gave a lecture on Data Analysis, Presentation, and Interpretation and how to write the different parts of a research report.

The training aimed to help researchers in the data processing, interpretation, and write up stages of their work. The training is one of the three trainings for 2017 that the Human Resource Committee of the Consortium is conducting. Providing support to the training as preceptors were Prof. Ma. Socorro Leong-on, Prof. Louie P. Hijalda and Dr. Ma. Delsa Gange from University of San Agustin, Prof. Melba Sale from Central Philippine University and Mr. Benedict Mark Carmelita from University of the Philippines Visayas.

-Cherry Joy M. Dagting

The Central Luzon Health Research and Development Consortium (CLHRDC) in partnership with the Department of Health RO3 successfully conducted the 1st Central Luzon Health Research Forum with the theme, “Translational Research: Addressing Health Inequities in Central Luzon” last April 25-26, 2017 at Subic Bay Travelers Hotel, Subic Freeport Zone. The forum provided a platform to link institutions engaged in or with interest in health research activities to explore ideas on topics that impact regional as well as national needs.

Dr. Julius Caesar V. Sicat, Regional Director of DOST III and Chairman of CLHRDC, who was also a member of the panel of evaluators stressed the need to align health research projects with the 10- point development agenda of the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, adding that proposals geared towards the priority areas identified in the National Unified Health Research Agenda (NUHRA) has better chances of being approved for funding. “We should be thinking of the research output as something that will benefit not only the people we serve but also our institutions, our families and ourselves. The products of our minds should be economically viable, sustainable and beneficial”, Dr. Sicat added. He also announced that the Region III will be hosting the Philippine National Health Research System Week next year.

Researchers from higher education institutions, local government units, public and private hospitals participated in the competing and non-competing categories. In addition, authors of published research papers presented their studies and shared their experience in publishing in reputable journals. Researches presented ranged from health technology development, health financing, health service delivery and socio-environmental health concerns.

The following were declared winners in the professional and student categories. The 1st and 2nd placers in both categories will represent Region III in the upcoming Philippine National Health Research Systems (PNHRS) Week Celebration in August.

Oral Research Presentation (Professional Category)

1st place – Ivy Joyce A. Buan and Danilet Vi M. Mendoza (NEUST)
Computational Study of Bioactive Components of Sweet Basil (Ocimum basilicum linn.), Luyang Dilaw (Curcuma longa linn.) and Lagundi (Vitex negundo) as Inhibitor against Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV-1)

2nd place – Jacqueline V. Bagunu, et al. (PSAU)
Isolation and Molecular Identification of Lactic Acid bacteria (LAB) from Nile Tilapia (Oreo-chromis niloticus) as Potential Pathogen Antagonist

3rd place – Kay Ann J. Tongol, et al. (WUP)
Assessment of the Antioxidant and Cholesterol- Lowering Activity of Artocarpus ovatus Blanco (Moraceae) Leaf Extract

Geraldine C. Sanchez, et al. (PSAU)
Hypocholesterolemic Effects of ICRISAT-bred Pigeon pea Dried Leaves fed in White Mice Fed with High Cholesterol Diet

Oral Research Presentation (Student Category)

1st place – Aileen A. Gutierrez, et al. (AUF)
Determining the Anti-angiogenic and Cytotoxic Activity of the Crude Ethanolic Extract from Saccharum spontaneum linn (Talahib) on Duck Eggs and Human Breast Cancer Cells Lines (MCF7)

2nd place - Kayeslyn Jill F. Sanchez, et al. (AUF)
The Effectiveness of Short Messaging Service (SMS) as a Strategy to Improve Adherence to TB Service in Angeles City: A Randomized Control Study

3rd place - Ruiza U. Ismael, et al. (AUF)
In Vitro Cytotoxicity of Allamandra Cathartica L. Leaf Ethanol extract against A549 Human Lung Adenocarcinoma

Aside from the forum, the event also served as an avenue to strengthen linkages among public and private research institutions in Central Luzon.

CLHRDC is committed in generating health- related researchers to help improve the health conditions of the people in Central Luzon and will continue its effort to improve and encourage more collaborative health research projects in Region III.

12 research areas that seeks to address health-related concerns in Central Luzon were identified during a consultation workshop spearheaded by Central Luzon Health Research and Development Consortium (CLHRDC) last April 27-28,2017 in Angeles City.

Together with the Philippine National Health Research System (PNHRS), the activity was facilitated by the Alliance for Improving Health Outcomes (AIHO), a non-stock, non-profit, public health consulting firm that was commissioned by the PCHRD-DOST to assist regional health R&D consortium in coming up their respective regional R&D agenda. Following the National Guidelines for Health Research Prioritization developed by the PNHRS, workshop participants were able to identify the following Health Research Priorities during the consultation:

1.Nutrition and Safety
2. Maternal and Child Health
3. Technology and Innovations for Health
4. Sexually and Reproductive Health (e.g adolescent)
5. Health Service Delivery and Health Workforce
6. Financial Risk Protection
7. Communicable Diseases (STI, HIV and AIDS, TB, vector-borne disease and other emerging and reemerging disease)
8. Disaster Risk Reduction Management for Health
9. Diseases of Urbanization and Industrialization (Environmental Health, Mental Health)
10. Health of Aging Population
11. Health Research Governance
12. Indigenous People's Health

The draft document which will later become the Regional Unified Health Research Agenda was formulated with inputs from multi-sectoral participants from government agencies like Department of Health RO3, Department of Science and Technology III, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, Provincial Health Office and the Commission on Population Region III, Higher Education Institutions like Angeles University Foundation, Republic Central Colleges, University of the Assumption, Ramon Magsaysay Technological University, Wesleyan University, Bulacan State University and Pampanga State Agricultural University, as well as Government Hospitals such as Mariveles Mental Hospital, and other organizations such as Integrated Midwives’ Association of the Philippines and Pampanga Medical Society.

Similar consultation workshops were also held in the different regions of the country. The consolidated output from these consultations will be incorporated into the National Unified Health Research Agenda (NUHRA) and will be launched in the upcoming PNHRS Week Celebrations in August 2017 at the PICC. It will also be disseminated through newsletters, publications, organizations’ official websites and a formal document that will be sent to all the stakeholders. It is envisioned to be monitored and revisited every two (2) years for the progress and status of the set priorities.

To motivate the target stakeholders in promoting productivity and innovation through research, the Region 1 Health Research and Development Consortium (R1HRDC) thru the Research and Utilization Committee (RUC) conducted a regional research conference held on May 25, 2017 at Teatro Ilocandia, Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital and Medical Center, Batac City Ilocos Norte with the theme:"R1HRDC Bolstering People's Quality of Life through Health Research and Dissemination". Headed by Dr. Maria Lourdes K. Otayza, Chairman, R1HRDC and Dr. Mercita Q. Queddeng, Chairman, RUC, the conference aimed to: (1) provide platform for professional and student researches for health utilization and dissemination (2) strengthen collaboration between researchers and institutions (3) support, encourage and nurture scholarly work of student and professional researcher.The keynote speaker was Dr. Prima Fe R. Franco, OIC President of Mariano Marcos State University.
More than three hundred (300) participants from different member institutions/agencies attended the said conference.

Winners during the competition were the following:

Professional - Oral Presentation

Award Research Name Author/Presenter Institution
1st Place Status of Voluntary Blood Donation Program and Services in the Philippines Red Cross Pangasinan Chapter Dr Catherine DG. Torio Virgen Milagrosa University Foundation
2nd Place Challenges Encountered by the Relatives of Clients with Alzheimers Disease Sharon Orcajo Lyceum Northwestern University
3rd Place Morpho-cytoxicity of Ethanolic Crude Extracts of Nuclea Orientalis (L) Lin on Allium cepa (L) Roots Ms Maingeline B.Vivit Mariano Marcos State University

Professional - Poster Presentation

Award Research Name Author/Presenter Institution
1st Place In Vitro Evaluation of the Antifungal Properties of Cotton Fabric Treated with the Ethanolic Extract of Propolis from Apis mellifera against Tricophyton Rubrum Mr Ramoncito Gabriel O.Paragas, et. al Virgen Milagrosa University Foundation
2nd Place Phytochemical Screening and In Vitro Evaluation of the Antioxidant and Antibacterial Activity of Nuclea orientalis (L) Lin Ms Maingeline B.Vivit Mariano Marcos State University
3rd Place Formulation, Quality Control and Stability of a Polyherbal Anti-Dandruff Shampoo Mr Pocholo A. Trinidad Virgen Milagrosa University Foundation

Students - Oral Presentation (Medical) Category

Award Research Name Author/Presentor Institution
1st Place MMSU Disaster Framework: Integrating Physical Therapists in the Resiliency of Ilocos Norte Francis Clarence C. Chua, et. Al Adviser Dr Cheryll Didi Nellie N. Obra

Mariano Marcos State University
2nd Place IMCI Mobile Application as an Alternative Tool for Healthcare Providers Nicole Kaye C. Mondero, et al Adviser Mr Milencio Milan

Don Mariano Marcos State University
3rd Place Hospital-Based Healthcare Professionals Awareness, Knowledge, Attitude and Adverse Drug Reaction Reporting Practices in Tertiary Hospitals in Ilocos Norte Alana M. Sambrano, et al Adviser Ms Julie Ann Gattoc

Mariano Marcos State University

Students - Oral presentation (Herbal) Category

Award Research Name Author/Presentor Institution
1st Place The Analgesic Effectiveness of Piper Betle L. (Piper betle) and Jatropha Curcas L. (Purging Nut Tree) Liniments for Arthritic Pain Parida Joy C. carpio, et. al Don Mariano Marcos State University
2nd Place Platelet Augmentation Activity of Suma from Pinili, Ilocos Norte: Munno-munnot (Clausea sanki), Ngarusangis (Ehretia microphylla) , Barsanga (Eluesine Indica) and Ilocos White Bawang (Allium sativum) Lois Lyn Gacosta, et. Al Adviser Ms Janelyn V. Rojas

Mariano Marcos State University
3rd Place Nutraceutical and Toxicological In Vitro Analysis of Standardized Schizophyllum commune for Capsule Formulation Princess Aira Carbonel
Virgen Milagrosa University Foundation

Students - Poster Presentation Category

Award Research Name Author/Presentor Institution
1st Place Anti-acne Tyrosinace Inhibition Activities of Propolis Produced by Philippine Stingless Bee (Trigona biroi) Esther Faith Gabriel, et. Adviser Ms Angelica May DC Mendoza Mariano Marcos State University
2nd Place Vermicidal Property of Star Gooseberry (Phyllantus acidus) Fruit Extract Vaithalingam Kalachelvan, et. al University of Northern Philippines
3rd Place In Vivo Analysis of the Anthelmintic Property of Calabash (Bignoniaceae cresentia cujete L.) Fruit Extract in Syrup Form Aftab Miya Ansari, et. al
Virgen Milagrosa University Foundation

Members of the Technical Panel of Evaluators who served as judge in assessing the significance and quality of the researches were: Dr. Jose B. Orosa III, Chairman,R&D; Dr.Ederlyn A. Cadorna from UNP; Dr. Ricardo S. Guanzon, Chairman, Research Committee MMMH&MC (Professional Category), Dr. Hilarion H. Maramba Jr.,Chairman, ERC; Dr. Cynthia P. Lopez from LNU; Dr. Lori Marseli De Castro from NWU (Student-Medical Health Category); Dr. Mercita Q. Queddeng, Chairman, RUC; Dr. Amelia Dumaoang from DOH; Ms. Remedios Mangoba from MMMH&MC (Student-Herbal Category); Dr. Corazon G. Pardo; Dr. Solita Evangeline Banez; Prof. Loreen Cayabyab (Poster Category-Student and Professional).Facilitators during the contest were Dr. Marlou Savella from UNP, Dr. Cecilia Villamor from DMMMSU and Ms. Ma. Lyn P. Cortez from VMUF.