Written by Rachel Ann Doreen D. Nadal   
Friday, 09 September 2011 08:04

Resource speakers during the Metro Manila Health Research Development Consortium (MMHRDC) Research Forum. (From Left): Engr. Jean Rosete of EMB-DENR, Dr. Josephine Tolentino of SLMC and Dr. Jubert Benedicto of PCCP.

In celebration of the National Lung Month, the Metro Manila Health Research and Development Consortium (MMHRDC) held a research forum with the theme “Healthy Lungs, Clean Air, Good Life” last August 26, 2011 at the Manila Doctors Hospital.

The forum gathered researchers and experts from the 23 member institutions of the consortium to provide a venue for research collaboration among stakeholders.

Engr. Jean Rosete, Chief of the Air Quality Management Section of the Environment Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) presented the “Status of Air Quality in Metro Manila.” Engr. Rosete reported that the sources of air pollution in Metro Manila are natural and man-made or anthropogenic. Man-made air pollutants are from mobile sources like motor vehicles, industries, and area sources like open burning, building constructions and paved roads. Based on the National Emission Inventory conducted by the DENR, most (86%) of the pollution load comes from motor vehicles.

“In response to the findings of the inventory, DENR intensified its anti-smoke belching campaign. We also implemented the garage testing of public utility vehicles, intensified industrial monitoring, and information and education campaign in coordination with Local Government Units (LGUs) to undertake those activities.” said Engr. Rosete.

Dr. Josephine Tolentino of St. Luke’s Medical Center tackled “Personalizing Treatment for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: IPASS Study.” Her study proved that the drug Gefitinib is superior to carboplatin-paclitaxel as an initial treatment for pulmonary adenocarcinoma among nonsmokers or former light smokers in East Asia. The presence in the tumor of a mutation of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene is a strong predictor of a better outcome with gefitinib.

Dr. Jubert Benedicto, Chair of the Council on Tuberculosis of the Philippine College of Chest Physicians (PCCP) discussed his research entitled, “The Incidence of Active Tuberculosis Among Health Workers with Latent Tuberculosis Infection in Tertiary Hospital Setting.” The study revealed that health care workers (HCWs) have a high prevalence of latent TB infection (LTBI) and low incidence of active TB.

According to Dr. Benedicto, “This was a cohort study done over two years involving HCWs assigned in the medical wards and medical intensive care units in ten tertiary hospitals. The findings of the study might have implications in screening and employment policies among HCWs and infection control strategies that should be employed in these tertiary settings.”

In her closing remarks, Dr. Lulu Bravo, Chair of the MMHRDC Steering Committee and the Executive Director of the University of the Philippines-National Institutes of Health (UP-NIH) expressed her appreciation for the efforts of the consortium in promoting research.

“We need more forums like this to motivate more people to do research. I encourage everyone to publish your researches for us to be more competitive with our ASEAN neighbors.” said Dr. Bravo.

The Regional Health Research and Development Consortium in Region IV was launched last July 19, 2007 at the De La Salle Health Sciences Institute (DLSHSI). The launch was lead by Dr. Jaime Montoya, the Executive Director of PCHRD and his staff who also conducted an orientation meeting for the participants. The DLSHSI through it's Research Division ( Angelo King Medical Research Center ), represented by Dr. Melchor Frias, the Vice Chancellor for Research, was designated as convenor of the consortium.

The launch and orientation meeting was attended by representatives from the following institutions: De La Salle University-Dasmarinas, De La Salle-Lipa, University of the Philippines-Los Banos, University of the Perpetual Help-Laguna, Batangas Regional Hospital, Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Region IV, Center for Health and Development (CHD) IV-A and IV-B, and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Region IV-A. Dr. Montoya and his staff gave the participants some background information on PCHRD in general and on the Regional Health Research and Development Consortium in particular. Dr. Frias moderated the open forum where participants aired their queries, comments and concerns.

Read more: Brief History

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