APEIR Attending the EcoEID Research and Policy Forum
5 December 2013 Manila
Manila. September 2013. APEIR as one of the research networks in Asia had an opportunity to attend the Ecohealth Emerging Infectious Disease Initiative (EcoEID) Project Research and Policy Forum, in Manila, Philippines, from 15-20 September 2013. This event was hosted by Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) with support from International Development Research Center (IDRC).
In general, the EcoEID event aims to provide a forum for knowledge exchange andlearning process amongst EIDs researchers, experts, and policy makers; as well as to discuss emerging diseases and lessons learned from EIDs research; and finally to enhance capacity building on research translation and policy development, program guidelines and community health promotion.
The event was attended by researchers from Asian countries such as China, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, Philippines and Vietnam. In this event the participants visited one of the EcoEID projects and attended conference(s) and workshops. The sites of EcoEID projects visited by the attendants were Bancao-Bancao, BagongSilang, San Pedro, Cabayungan and Sicsican on Palawan Island.
Palawan is known as the last frontier of the Philippines. Since the turn of the century, it has experienced rapid changes in land uses, especially from tourism sectors. It results the increase of commercial airlines from only three daily flights per day in 2006 to eighteen daily flights in peak t season. Therefore, it brought a great concern toward the spread of vector-borne diseases, because they morbidity. Palawan used to contribute up to 40% of the total malaria cases in the Philippines. Although the numbers have decreased significantly, the five species of malaria were found there including the fifth malaria parasite, Plasmodium knowlesi. Since 2000, the number of dengue cases has increase, and the outbreaks have happened in all over Palawan. The famous outbreaks of chikungunya have also been found here. This makes, other mosquito-borne diseases reports are acute encephalitic syndromes and filariasis.
During the first day of the event, on behalf of APEIR, Ms. Pornpit presented the introduction of APEIR to audiences, followed by other development partners and research groups. In the next session, the participants discuss and share their experiences and knowledge translation efforts; learn from each other’s failure and listen from decision maker’s perspective as research user.
Another important discussion is about the possibility of networking, partnership and other forms of collaboration among researchers, country and disciplines. Most of the researchers agreed on the usefulness of Ecohealth approach and the idea of 3M (Multi-country, Multi-discipline and Multi-sector) on EIDs research, because, most of the EIDs are trans-boundary disease and risk factors.
On the second day, APEIR team had an opportunity to visit one the important laboratory and research facility to fight EIDs in Philippines; Research Institute for Tropical Medicine in Manila. During the visit, APEIR team discussed extensively regarding the EID research program in Manila and the research areas on EIDs in the Philippines.
In conclusion, APEIR saw this event as a way to pursue its mission through developing strong regional partnership that generates multi-disciplinary and collaborative research on emerging infectious diseases in Asia, based on Eco health/one health concept. The event became a media to accommodate the researchers, to exchange ideas and share experiences as well as to expand network amongst them. Last but not least, this knowledge sharing hopefully can help to reduce the threat of EIDs among the countries, especially those who are poor and marginalized groups in the region. (AND)
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