Over 200 delegates converged at the Our Lady of Fatima University last 16 July 2016 for the rollout of its First National Conference on Current Health Issues. Carrying the theme “Addressing the Challenges on Emerging Infectious Disease Threats to Optimize Health Outcomes”, attendees were a blend of professionals, invited guests, and OLFU alumni, students and faculty members.
Dr. Heracleo D. Lagrada, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Graduate School, opened the learning event and welcomed the participants at OLFU’s San Lorenzo Hall at its Valenzuela campus.
Giving the overview of the conference, College of Pharmacy Program Head Anbel M. Bautista said the theme is “both timely and relevant”. He underscored the goal of helping people become more knowledgeable about “developing issues related to infectious diseases”, and of lobbying for the implementation and progression of evidence-based intervention programs which address these. Adding, Mr. Bautista said the OLFU conference aims to propel delegates to champion development, implementation and advocacies with regards to effective intervention programs.
Topics & Plenary Sessions
Serving as highlights of the affair, the country’s experts on infectious diseases imparted their knowledge on their areas of specialization.
Dr. Hilton Y. Lam
Director- Institute of Health Policy and Development Studies (IHPDS)
National Institutes of Health, UP Manila
Metro Manila Health Research and Development Consortium (MMHRDC)
Dr. Lam discussed the global and national economic burden associated with viral, infectious diseases such as Dengue, Chikunguya and Zika. As well, he touched on the problems of zoonotic diseases such as MERS, Ebola, SARS and H1N1, and the government initiatives that are addressing these. “Zoonotic” refers to diseases that exist in animals that can be transmitted to humans.
Plenary Session #1
Three resource speakers discussed local and global responses to viral disease threats, and the role of vaccines in the integrated prevention and control of infectious diseases.
Topic #1: “Dengue, Chikunguya and Zika Virus Go Global”
Speaker: Ava Kristy D. Sy, MS Micro
Senior Science Research Specialist, Virology Department, Research Institute for Tropical Medicine
Topic #2: “MERS, Ebola, SARS and H1N1- Local and Global Response to Viral
Speaker: Plebeian B. Medina, MS MT
Special Pathogen Laboratory
Research Institute for Tropical Medicine
Topic #3: “Role of Vaccination in Integrated Disease Prevention and
Speaker: Rose Z. Capeding, MD
Head- Microbiology Department
Research Institute for Tropical Medicine
Plenary Session #2
An expert on tuberculosis tackled treatment modalities in addressing increasing cases of multi-drug resistance; while another guest speaker shared insights on resolving anti-microbial resistance using the One Health Approach.
Topic #4: “Tuberculosis – Challenges and Solutions for the 21st Century,
Advances and Understanding in the Management of Drug
Speaker: Lalaine L. Mortera, MD
Philippine Tuberculosis Society Inc.
Dr. Mortera is one of the leading authorities in TB Control and has received
numerous awards for her contributions in this area.
Topic #5: “Antimicrobial Resistance using One Health Approach”
Speaker: Roderick L. Salenga, RPh, MPH
College of Pharmacy
University of the Philippines, Manila
Prof. Salenga is a TOYM 2015 Awardee. He also worked for the Philippine office of the World Health Organization (WHO) as the technical lead for essential medicines and health technology.
A scientific session served as the final segment of the event. Mural and poster presentations showcased researches conducted by OLFU students and professionals in the health sciences. Winners were recognized.
This pioneering event is a collaboration of OLFU’s University Academic Conferences Committee (UACC) CLUSTER 1 headed by Dean Olive de Vera of the College of Pharmacy. Cluster 1 is composed of the school’s medical and allied medical programs, namely: Pharmacy, Medical Laboratory Science, Nursing, Physical Therapy, Biology and Psychology.
Dr. Michael Joseph S. Dino, Overall Chair of the UACC, formally concluded the event. He is also Director of OLFU’s Research, Development and Innovation Center (RDIC).