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Health Secretary Francisco Duque III on Monday vowed to punish those responsible for anomalies in the P8.1-billion, two-phase Barangay Health Station Project, saying he was shocked by the volume of irregular transactions in his department.

“Heads will roll. Big names, small names, past and present. There will be no sacred cows. Heads will definitely roll,” Duque said at a briefing.

“I tried to give the persons involved the benefit of the doubt,” Duque told reporters. “I am beyond frustrated. I am saddened and disgusted that the Filipino people are being shortchanged by the very people who are supposed to serve them.”

The goal of the BHS Project was to build a functional PhilHealth-accredited health station in every barangay to ensure access to primary health care, using public elementary schools as identified sites.

But a task force organized by Duque in April confirmed the findings of a Commission on Audit report, which found that the project “was obstructed by ineligible and non-workable project sites that were not fully validated before project contracting and implementation due to the absence of specific guidelines.”

The CoA also noted that equipment procured for the project remained idle or undistributed to the intended beneficiaries.

Duque said the order of business was to clean house from within.

“I will continue instituting changes, including reorganization, in the coming days,” he said.

He said he has also ordered a meticulous review of all transactions entered into by the previous administrations.

The DoH has also submitted documents to the Senate, the House of Representatives, and the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission, which issued requests and subpoenas to help their own parallel investigations.

 

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The chairman of the House committee on appropriations on Monday said Congress has more reasons to approve the proposed supplemental budget for Dengvaxia victims following the New England Journal of Medicine’s affirmation of the ill-effects of Dengvaxia on certain children.

“This study should prompt swift approval of the supplemental budget,” Davao City Rep. Karlo Nograles said, referring to House Bill 7449 or the P1.16-billion supplemental budget for 2018 that will cover possible medical expenses that may be incurred should children injected with Dengvaxia get ill.

The House earlier passed on third and final reading its version of the supplemental budget before the sine die adjournment of Congress late last month. But the Senate failed to pass its version.

“I have no doubt that the Senate would ultimately do what’s right and make sure that the money we set aside will end up benefitting the Dengvaxia victims. It is too important to ignore,” Nograles said.

Published last week in the New England Journal of Medicine were the results of an analysis of the controversial anti-dengue vaccine Dengvaxia.

French pharmaceutical firm Sanofi Pasteur manufactured the drug, which in April 2016 was made the focus of a massive inoculation campaign by the previous Aquino administration.

In November 2017, Sanofi admitted that the vaccine could worsen symptoms for “seronegative” children or those who have never contracted dengue but were given Dengvaxia shots anyway.

By this time, nearly 900,000 Filipino school children had been vaccinated under the anti-dengue program.

“The published findings confirmed Sanofi’s belated admission of the pitfalls of Dengvaxia. It also upheld the World Health Organization recommendation last April that the vaccine should not be used without testing for prior dengue exposure,” Nograles said.

The proposed P1.16-billion supplemental budget makes use of Sanofi’s partial refund for the P3-billion anti-dengue program. The refund specifically covers the unused Dengvaxia vials that the Department of Health returned following the program’s suspension by the Duterte administration.

Citing the findings, Nograles reiterated his call for the French company to make a full refund, i.e., reimbursing the Philippine government for the used Dengvaxia vials.

 

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The Department of Health (DOH), through its AHEAD (Advancing Health through Evidence-Assisted Decisions) strategy, aims to inform the health sector’s global and national administrative and legislative policy agenda, create an equitable and enabling environment for health policy and systems researchers all over the country, and ensure the progressive realization of the envisioned research system.

With the continued commitment of DOH in training the next generation for health sector leaders, researchers, policy analysts, and program managers, they have partnered with the Department of Science and Technology - Philippine Council for Health Research Development (DOST-PCHRD) in order to implement the DOH Research Fellowship Program.

Objectives:

  1. Train young professionals in conceptualizing, developing, implementing, and communicating health research of national and global policy significance
  2. Produce and use research evidence to influence national policy-making and legislation, and program development, and implementation
  3. Establish a cadre of young professionals with emerging expertise in the field of health systems research, policy, and data analysis, research communication, and research management

Scope of Work:

  1. Identify research gaps in health policy and systems
  2. Develop and design a health policy and systems research addressing identified research gaps/ health policy and systems issues
  3. Collect and analyze data using a range of quantitative and qualitative techniques
  4. Systematically search, appraise and synthesize research evidence
  5. Communicate evidence to influence policy-making and legislation through the development of policy briefs, policy notes and other knowledge products as appropriate
  6. Apply research evidence in day-to-day practice to improve health policy and systems
  7. Participate in research capacity building activities organized by DOH
  8. Comply with DOH standards and protocols

Deliverables:

  1. Publishable collaborative research article
  2. Collaborative health policy analysis
  3. Research brief/s
  4. Technical review or critical appraisal of a proposed or completed research work
  5. Technical reports (such as position papers, policy notes, technical presentations, meeting reports, aide memoires, terms of reference and the like)
  6. Attendance to at least 80% of capacity building activities
  7. Timely submission of monthly accomplishment report approved by the DOH management
  8. Other policy and research related technical tasks as may be required

 

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Vying for awards in the upcoming 2018 PNHRS Week Celebration to be held in Baguio City on August 6-9, the Eastern Visayas Health Research and Development Consortium (EVHRDC) conducted Committee Chairs' Meetings last May 21 and June 1 at the Conference Room, DOST-8 Building, Government Center, Candahug, Palo, Leyte.

Present in the meeting were Engr. Ernesto M. Granada, Consortium Director and presiding officer, Dr. Lucia P. Dauz, Consortium Coordinator, Dr. Jane Borrinaga, Ms. Josephine Hipe, Mr. Leonido Olobia, Dr. Virgildo Sabalo, and the EVHRDC Secretariat: Ms. Rachelle Mae Arape, Mr. Garret Jay Salvacion, Ms. Jessamay Mercado, and Mr. Jeffrey Hinampas.

Among the agenda of the meeting was to deliberate and finalize regional entries for the Oral Research Paper Presentation and Poster Exhibit Contests for both Professional and Student categories.

Nominations for the regional entries of the Professional category came from the completed research projects funded through EVHRDC.

For the student category Poster Exhibit Contest, submission of research papers is until June 6, 2018 (Wednesday). Entries can be submitted to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Clinched fist pose of FDA Director General Nela Charade Puno
and D-PUNCH members as a sign of determination
to ensure consumers’ safety.

To ensure consumer protection  against  hazardous health products, representatives of government agencies and other stakeholders led by the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) officials  convened during the Consumer Protection Advocacy Forum  held recently at Hotel Estrella in Tacloban City. 

The advocacy forum primarily focused on FDA Licensing and Registration Requirements for Local Chief Executives and partner agencies in Eastern Visayas to avoid trade malpractice in the region. 

During the day’s event, different mechanisms in monitoring of unregistered health products in the market were likewise strengthened.

FDA officials and other stakeholders enlighten participants on their
programs and concerns during the open forum held right after the program.
 

In her message, FDA Director General Nela Charade Puno urged other stakeholders to help them in the enforcement of law to ensure public health and safety. 

“Tulungan nyo po kami at magtulungan po tayo, we need to make sure na nasusunod ang batas”, Puno said. “I am looking forward for more collaboration to insure public health and public safety”, she added. 

Puno also acknowledged the presence of D-Punch (D-PUNCH "Destroy Products Unfit for the Consumption of Humans") and PNP officials to help them explain the consequences in cases where there are violations of law. 

“Importante din po na nandito ang partners naming D-Punch at yung mga PNP officers natin, para after maexplain natin everything, it is important to know the consequences kapag hindi nasunod ang batas”, she further stressed.

FDA officials led by FDA Director General, Nela Charade Puno (center, in black and green attire) and other stakeholders recite
the Pledge of Commitment during the Consumer Protection Advocacy Forum held at Hotel Estrella in Tacloban City.

 

As a gesture of support to the programs of the FDA, a Pledge of Commitment led by FDA officials was likewise recited by the activity’s participants during said forum.