May 23rd, 2012
By Rodrigo S. Victoria
NAVAL, Biliran — The medical study “Comprehensive Etiological and Epidemiological Study on Acute Respiratory Infections in Children: Providing Evidence for the Prevention and Control of Childhood Pneumonia in Biliran Province” was launched at the Biliran Provincial Hospital (BPH) recently.
The five-year comprehensive medical study is sponsored by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) in collaboration with the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine (RITM).
BPH Provincial Health Officer II Dr. Alfonso I. Veneracion was grateful for the opportunity since this project will help strengthen the capabilities of the provincial hospital.
RITM Director IV Dr. Remigio M. Olveda stressed that the project will help build up the capacity of the BPH on the etiology and epidemiology of respiratory tract infection and pneumonia of children in the province while Director III Dr. Socorro P. Lupisan added that the BPH will also serve as referral hospital for cases of childhood pneumonia and a pneumonia research project unit will also be established in the province.
It was learned that a separate laboratory with complete equipment is already established at the BPH. Health personnel like nurses, medical technologists, and a part-time or a full-time doctor were already hired for the project.
JST Singapore Office Senior Program Coordinator Masahito Yano said that the medical study is one of the 31 S & T research projects sponsored by JST in Southeast Asia or in the whole of Asia and that all stakeholders of the project study “must walk together” to address the 95% prevalence of pneumonia cases in developing countries.
JICA Chief Advisor Dr. Hitoshi Oshitani informed that a similar study was also conducted in the Eastern Visayas Medical Center (EVRMC) in Leyte province from May 2008 to 2011 and that they chose BPH this time for the particular study on childhood pneumonia.
Data from the BPH technical section revealed that pneumonia is the leading cause of mortality and ranked second in morbidity in the province of Biliran for the last five years.
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