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A group of pathologists from different countries in Asia will examine the effects and safety concerns of Dengvaxia vaccine, subject to the approval by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, who said that the pathologists came from Vietnam, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Singapore, from where the President will choose three experts who will comprise the panel which will look into the matter.

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque, however, has yet to confirm if the President will be able to create the panel and the duration of the study. He said that the health experts will be given compensation for their work.

“Mayroon naman po tayong sapat na budget para sila’y imbitahan dito sa Pilipinas at mag-aral doon sa kung anong dapat nilang pag-aralan para magkaroon sila ng konklusyon sa tunay na epekto ng Dengvaxia,” Roque said.

Duque has said that the foreign pathologists will be tasked to scrutinize findings from the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital and the Public Attorney’s Office in relation with the dengue immunization program.

The expert panel’s output and recommendation will be submitted directly to the Department of Justice.

The government will also set up additional mechanisms to ensure their full independence.

Earlier, said that the conflicting findings of the UP-PGH and PAO, which conducted autopsies on children whose deaths were linked to the vaccine, prompted Duterte to “seek further advice” through the foreign panel of experts.

Last February, the UP-PGH said that only three of the 14 children who died of various causes some time after receiving Dengvaxia, died of dengue, and none of the deaths could directly be attributed to the vaccine.

The PAO, however, stood by its findings and has even filed criminal charges against Duque, former Health secretary Janette Garin and several others over the deaths of the schoolchildren administered with the vaccine and later died.

 

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To help maintain timeliness of researchers' implementation of their research projects, the Eastern Visayas Health Research and Development Consortium conducts project monitoring of Regional Research Funded (RRF) projects to three (3) institutions within the province of Leyte on June 28, 2018.


Of the three institutions visited, a total of five (5) researchers, including co-investigators, have been monitored: Dr. Katherine Chan of Divine Word Hospital (DWH); Mr. Jordan Vivo and Dr. Annie Perez of Visayas State University (VSU) Tolosa Campus; and Dr. Ethel Pearl Eamiguel and Dr. Ryan Cris Jordan of Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center (EVRMC).

 

The project monitoring focused on the researchers'; pacing in the implementation of activities based on the approved gantt chart, and on the utilization of their respective project funds, taking into consideration the timeframe of the projects implemented. Issues and concerns related to the project were properly addressed.

The researchers were also informed on the schedule of submission of required documents such as the progress and financial reports per signed and approved Memorandum of Agreement.

With great honor and pleasure to serve fellow advocates on health research, the Eastern Visayas Health Research & Development Consortium (EVHRDC) welcomed participants from the Department of Health Regional Office No. II for a Benchmarking Activity and Dialogue on Health Research Initiatives recently held at the DOST Regional Office VIII, Government Center, Candahug, Palo, Leyte on June 26, 2018.

The visitors from DOH RO II were the Research Management and Development (RMD) Coordinator, Carissa Pagulayan, and Health Program Researchers, namely:  Charmaine Barangan, Desiree Deray, Madeline Tamayo, and Dan Reyes.

Participants of the activity were the EVHRDC Research Management Committee (RMC)   with Leonido Olobia as Chair, and members namely: Dr. Bayani Blas (RTRMF), Catherine Iglesias (CHED), and Dr. Amabel Ganzo (UPM-SHS). 

Also in attendance were the EVHRDC Coordinator, Dr. Lucia Dauz, and the committee chairs of ERC and SOMEC, Dr. Jane Borrinaga and Josephine Hipe, respectively.

One of the highlights of the activity was the sharing of best practices from committee chairs and members of the different EVHRDC committees, of EVHRDC in general, and that of DOH RO8.

There were also presentations on the overview of EVHRDC, its accomplishments for CY 2017 and mid of 2018, as well as the targets for the second semester of the current year.

After the presentations and an open forum, the participants were taken for a tour to the EVHRDC ERC Office.

Grateful for the opportunity, the EVHRDC thanked the visitors for considering region 8’s consortium in their benchmarking activity.

EVHRDC and DOH RO2 are hopeful to undertake collaborative projects and activities in the future.

Palo, Leyte-“The sustained support and commitment expressed by the various stakeholders promises a successful celebration of this year’s nutrition month and the realization of our efforts to accelerate and improve the overall health and nutrition status of our children and the entire people in Eastern Visayas,” said by the Regional Nutrition Program Coordinator Dr. Catalino P. Dotollo, Jr. during the Nutrition Month (NM) Stakeholders Meeting, held on 19 June 2018, at the PopCom Conference Room, PopCom Compound, Government Center, Palo, Leyte.

Said expression came after the nutrition stakeholders from the local government units, non-government organizations, civil society organizations, among others, conveyed their support and participation to the month-long activities which will be highlighted with motorcade and launching activities, thematic talks, nutri-contests, and food garden advocacies. 

The nutrition month celebration is pursuant to Presidential Decree 491, or the Nutrition Act of the Philippines, signed on June 25, 1974, which mandates the National Nutrition Council (NNC) to spearhead the nationwide celebration of the Nutrition Month. 

This year’s celebration, with the theme is “Ugaliing Magtanim, Sapat na Nutrisyon Aanihin!”, underscores nutrition awareness through improved food access by increasing the number of households, schools, and communities engaged in food gardens. Specifically, the celebration aims to (1) encourage development of food gardens among families and in communities, schools, government offices, and workplaces; (2) mobilize various stakeholders to provide a fostering environment for sustainable food gardens; and (3) provide a platform to generate success stories of food gardens and recognize successful food gardeners.

 

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President Rodrigo Duterte has signed Republic Act 11036, or the Philippine Mental Health Law, which aims to shed more light on the mental health of Filipinos.

The issue of mental health has been in the limelight following the recent suicide deaths of known personalities Kate Spade, Anthony Bourdain and the sister of Queen Maxima of Denmark.

The Philippines is the last country to pass a mental health law in Southeast Asia.

“No longer shall Filipinos suffer silently in the dark,” Senator Risa Hontiveros said in a statement on Thursday.

Hontiveros is one of the authors and the principal sponsor of the bill along with Senate President Vicente Sotto III and Senators Loren Legarda, Sonny Trillanes, Bam Aquino, Sonny Angara and Joel Villanueva.

In other developments:


Deputy Speaker and Marikina Rep. Romero Quimbo on Thursday hailed the signing into law of the Mental Health Law.

“Truly fantastic news. It is a bill that languished in Congress for almost 20 years,” Quimbo said.

“Finally, the long wait is over. Today’s signing of the Mental Health Law will hopefully usher in the prevention of thousands of suicides that have been plaguing our country.”

Quimbo was the principal author of the House version of the then Mental Health Act.


The enactment into law of the Mental Health Act is a huge step in making mental health care more affordable, accessible and equitable, Senator Juan Edgardo Angara said, but he renewed his call to PhilHealth to cover the fees for psychiatric consultations and medicines, saying early intervention and prevention was crucial in treating mental illness.

President Rodrigo Duterte has signed Republic Act 11036, or the Philippine Mental Health Law, which aims to shed more light on the mental health of Filipinos.

The issue of mental health has been in the limelight following the recent suicide deaths of known personalities Kate Spade, Anthony Bourdain and the sister of Queen Maxima of Denmark.

The Philippines is the last country to pass a mental health law in Southeast Asia.

“No longer shall Filipinos suffer silently in the dark,” Senator Risa Hontiveros said in a statement on Thursday.

Hontiveros is one of the authors and the principal sponsor of the bill along with Senate President Vicente Sotto III and Senators Loren Legarda, Sonny Trillanes, Bam Aquino, Sonny Angara and Joel Villanueva.

In other developments:

Deputy Speaker and Marikina Rep. Romero Quimbo on Thursday hailed the signing into law of the Mental Health Law.

“Truly fantastic news. It is a bill that languished in Congress for almost 20 years,” Quimbo said.

“Finally, the long wait is over. Today’s signing of the Mental Health Law will hopefully usher in the prevention of thousands of suicides that have been plaguing our country.”

Quimbo was the principal author of the House version of the then Mental Health Act.

The enactment into law of the Mental Health Act is a huge step in making mental health care more affordable, accessible and equitable, Senator Juan Edgardo Angara said, but he renewed his call to PhilHealth to cover the fees for psychiatric consultations and medicines, saying early intervention and prevention was crucial in treating mental illness.

Under the Mental Health Act, he said, PhilHealth must “ensure that insurance packages equivalent to those covering the physical disorders of comparable impact are available to patients affected by mental disorders.”

PhilHealth now only covers hospitalization brought about by an acute attack of mental and behavioral disorder at a package rate of P7,800.

Hontiveros said that the new law would finally “secure the rights and welfare of people with mental health needs.”

She said it would finally be providing mental health services down to the smallest branch of the government, improving the country’s capability to properly handle mental health issues.

Among the law’s coverage is the provision of mental health services from health care facilities up to promoting mental health education in schools and workplaces where mental health risks are more prevalent.

 

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