MAKATI CITY, Manila- The ASEAN Network for Drugs, Diagnostics, Vaccines and Traditional Medicines Innovation (ASEAN-NDI) and the World Health Organization Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (WHO TDR) hosted the “Expert Panel Consultation on Health and Environment” on 5-6 April 2016 at the Dusit Thani Manila Hotel.
The consultation is part of the continuing effort to lay the groundwork for a call for research proposals on health and environment. The first consultation started during the Regional Consultation on Health and Environment held back-to-back with the Global Forum on Research and Environment (Forum 2015) from 24-27 August 2015 at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC).
The members chosen to be part of the Expert Panel have expertise and experiences related to globalization and geography of health and disease, public health and development, health and environment, climate change, ecology, community-based conservation, forest transitions, urban planning, equity and gender, and vector borne diseases.
“The task of the expert panel is to lend technical support to Vectors, Environment and Society (VES) TDR for the implementation of a new research initiative on Health and Environment in the South East Asian and Western Pacific Regions,” Dr. Bernadette Ramirez, WHO TDR Scientist, explained.
Forming the Expert Panel were Dr. Nancy Lewis of East West Center, Dr. Tikki Pang of National University of Singapore, Dr. Irma Makalinao of University of the Philippines Manila, Dr. Xu Jian Chu of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Dr. Kristie Ebi of University of Washington, Dr. Theeraphap Charoenviriyapap of Kasetsart University, and Dr. Mojgan Sami of University of California-Irvine.
Present also during the consultation were Dr. Bernadette Ramirez and Dr. Florence Fouque of WHO TDR, Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe of WHO WPRO, Dr. Bruce Wilcox and Dr. Pierre Echaubard of Mahidol University and Dr. Jaime Montoya of Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD). Dr. Amelia Guevara, Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Undersecretary for R&D, delivered the welcome message highlighting the need to continue the fight against tropical diseases by supporting future researches addressing the effects of the environment and climate change on public health.
To guide the members of the Expert Panel and WHO TDR in identifying their Call for Proposals, topics such as “Transdisciplinary Framing,” “Integrated Approach for Resilient Landscape and Livelihood,” “Adaptive Capacity Building,” “Linking Policy and Practice,” and “Multisectoral Collaboration” were introduced. Background on diseases in the Western Pacific Region (WPR), strategies for vector-borne diseases (VBDs) control and changing landscape of Public Health were also discussed.
During the dialogue on multisectoral collaboration, Dr. Jaime Montoya, emphasized the importance of early engagement in partnerships. “You need to involve stakeholders very early on, beginning from conceptualization. You should also build on existing strengths and show spirit of partnership. Commitment is entrenched on deep partnership,” he explained.
The second day of Consultation was allotted for workshop on WHO-TDR’s Call for Proposal.