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TACLOBAN CITY, May 20 (PIA) -- The Department of Health - Eastern Visayas Center for Health Development (DOH-EV CHD) is encouraging all HIV-AIDS patients to submit themselves for screening, so as to be treated and avoid further transmission.

In an interview with the DOH Regional Surveillance Nurse and Program Manager for HIV-AIDS, Boyd Roderick Cerro, during the Suruswerte ha PIA hosted by PIA 8 Regional Director Olive Tiu, it was learned that there are at least 1,214 diagnosed HIV-AIDS cases in the Eastern Visayas region as of February 10, 2021.



Participants to the Call for Proposals pose for a commemorative photo. Pictured are only a portion of the participants who attended. 

Researchers from the different member institutions of the Eastern Visayas Health Research and Development Consortium (EVHRDC), were briefed about the procedures and requirements for submission of health research proposals during the Call for Proposals held last April 30, 2021, via zoom.

Organized by the said consortium, the activity was aimed at promoting  health research and likewise encourage interested researchers to submit capsule proposals for possible funding.

Members of the EVHRDC Secretariat and experts from the different member agencies of the consortium served as resource persons during the forum.

During the activity, Mr. Raymond Campo of the EVHRDC secretariat gave the overview of EVHRDC highlighting its different major activities and accomplishments. Ms. Mae Anne Reyes, OIC-Assistant Regional Director for Technical Operations of the DOST Regional Office VIII, presented the updated Regional Unified Health Research Agenda (RUHRA) and provided the steps on how to submit a proposal to the Consortium. The RUHRA is a compendium of the priority health research areas of the region and serves as one of the basis for funding of research proposals.

Meanwhile, Dr. CatalinoP. Dotollo, Regional Nutrition Program Coordinator of the National Nutrition Council (NNC) VIII and member of the EVHRDC Technical Review Board, presented the technical review process, whileDr. Jane R. Borrinaga, Chair of the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center (EVRMC) Institutional Ethics Review Committee and Chair of the EVHRDC Ethics Review Committee (ERC), explained how the review of the ethical aspect of a proposal is conducted. On the other hand, Ms. Anicia P. Catameo, Regional Project Officer from the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD), discussed the Regional Research Fund, the funds used to support the implementation of health research projects in the region. In her presentation, Ms. Catameo emphasized that all proposals submitted to the Consortium must be technically and ethically sound for them to be endorsed for funding consideration.

Interested researchers were advised to submit their capsule proposals on or before May 10, 2021.

Around 36 participants from the different national government agencies, state universities and colleges, and other member institutions joined the forum. 

With the Call for Proposals conducted, the EVHRDC expects an increase in submission of fundable health research proposals for the region. (MC-NEDA)

NAVAL, Biliran: The long wait is over for the Biliran Province as it started to roll out the COVID-19 vaccination campaign last March 10.

Biliran Governor Rogelio J. Espina, a medical doctor, and COVID-19 survivor, led the vaccination launching ceremonies at the Biliran Provincial Hospital, attended by the hospital personnel, government officials, and other health workers.

“Despite that, we have the vaccine already, it is still a must that we observe minimum health protocols such as wearing of face masks and face shields, physical distancing, and handwashing to make yourself safe from this disease,” Governor Espina said. He also thanked the health workers and front liners ‘who continuously work to ensure the safety of the Biliranons.’

Biliran Provincial Hospital Chief Dr. Joyce Caneja is the first medical worker to be inoculated with Sinovac, a Chinese-made COVID-19 vaccine. Governor Espina personally gave the first shot of the vaccine to Caneja. “Our hope to be free from this is finally here! Let’s have ourselves vaccinated,” Dr. Caneja underscored.



Medical doctors, nurses, and other health workers in the hospital were given both Sinovac and AstraZeneca vaccines during the launching ceremony.

Other municipalities in the province also started to roll out their vaccination program: Municipality of Naval (March 10), Municipalities of Almeria, Cabucgayan and Kawayan (March 22), Municipalities of Culaba, Biliran, Maripipi, and Caibiran (March 23). The total number of vaccinated health workers and frontliners with Sinovac and AstraZeneca is around 764.

As of March 26, the Biliran Province has 324 total COVID-19 positive cases with eight (8) active cases.


PALO, LEYTE, April 20 - The Eastern Visayas Health Research and Development Consortium (EVHRDC), has updated, through a Zoom Conference on March 11-12, 2021, the 2017-2022 Regional Unified Health Research Agenda (RUHRA) of the Eastern Visayas region.

Spearheaded by the Department of Health (DOH) 8–Center for Health Development in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Regional Office 8, the activity was aimed to cater to the research priorities of the region’s stakeholders composed of representatives from the different local government units and State Colleges and Universities. (SUCs)

While the research needs seem dynamic, some topics may no longer be responsive during the present situation, hence, a RUHRA consultation and updating with the research stakeholders was conducted.

The EVHRDC Coordinator Jean Gay Ragub, emphasized that the setting of the RUHRA is being conducted annually not only to determine and update the health research priorities of the region, but likewise create a list of areas for health researches that need to be studied, thereby developing an advocacy and Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) Plan.

During the said conference, Mr. Teddy Dizon who is a Consultant from the Alliance for Improving Health Outcomes (AIHO), presented the Health Research Agenda Setting and the AIHO developed Guidelines for Health Research Prioritization from different national and international frameworks. The guidelines were presented according to the three phases: the preparatory, implementation and post-implementation phase, of which each was given emphasis as to importance.

In order to guide the participants and ensure alignment of the regional level with the national level, Mr. Dizon presented the three research priorities from the DOH, DOST and the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD). He also informed that the updating of RUHRA was based on the Harmonized National Research and Development Agenda; Medium Term Health Policy and Systems Research Agenda, and; the National Unified Health Research Agenda.

With the above-mentioned activity, the EVHRDC came up with the Updated 2021 Regional Unified Health Research Agenda, namely: Mental Health, Communicable Diseases, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, Occupational Health and Food Safety, among others.

It is noted that the DOST, in consultation with government and private research and development institutions, prepared the Harmonized National R&D Agenda (HNRDA) 2017-2022. This is to ensure that results of Science and Technology endeavors are utilized in areas of maximum economic and social benefit for the populace. It determines the specific priority research topics to be done by all Regional Health Research and Development Consortia. The formulation of the HNRDA is also in line with the DOST’s mandate of providing central direction, leadership and coordination of the scientific and technological efforts in the country. (ARA-DOST)


Medical frontliners from the Visayas State University were given their first shot of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine on March 16, 2021, at the old building of the Western Leyte Provincial Hospital (WLPH) in Baybay City.

The first batch included 9 medical frontliners from the University Services for Health, Emergency, and Rescue (USHER) who availed of the most-awaited vaccination program of the national government.

Another batch of USHER staff was sent to the old WLPH building today, March 17, rounding up the total number of vaccinated VSU medical frontliners to 2 medical doctors, 1 dentist, 7 nurses, and 8 other USHER personnel.

VSU resident physicians Dr. Elwin Jay Yu and Dr. Merry Christ'l T. Guinocor along with university dentist Dr. Maria Belen J. Buzon led the USHER staff in this activity.

The second dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine will soon be administered to all of them within two months, according to Dr. Yu.

Dr. Yu, who currently heads USHER, expressed his gratitude to both local and national governments for prioritizing medical frontliners for the national vaccination program.

“When we battled the COVID-19 pandemic in its first year, we were geared with minimum protection by only using face masks, ensuring social distancing, and frequent hand washing. But now that we are vaccinated, we hope that we may be able to serve our constituents with more efficiency and confidence because we know that we are protected,” VSU chief medical officer said.