With the goal of increasing awareness of the Research Utilization Committee (RUC) members from the region on barriers and opportunities in translating research into policy and strategies to affect change on current policy environment of the regional consortia members, three health research champions were invited to share their experiences on influencing health policy through research. Attended by 75 RUC members, policy influencers and communication practitioners, the preconference session was held as part of the 12th Philippine National Health Research System (PNHRS) Week in Baguio City on 7 August 2018.

In the morning session, three notable speakers and Alberto G. Romualdez, Jr. Health Research Award (AROHRA) winners namely, Dr. Ronald Matias (St.Luke’s Medical Center), Dr. Carmencita Padilla (UP Manila) and Dr. Mario V. Capanzana (DOST-FNRI) shared their journey of translating their research into policy.

Dr. Ronald Matias, Senior Scientist, St. Luke’s Medical Center, Quezon City, discussed the St. Luke’s Dengue Research Program on dengue surveillance, assessment and emerging technologies. As there are already existing policies by the WHO and DOH, implementation of dengue prevention and control should be accompanied by timely and innovative researches which are integrated into policy. With the goal of reducing the incidence of the disease, Dr. Matias emphasizes that research and development efforts must be converted into public health solutions.

Dr. Carmencita Padilla, Chancellor, University of the Philippines, Manila (UPM) highlighted the history of the National Newborn Screening Program from being a UPM and DOST-funded research project in 1996 to being the Newborn Screening Law (R.A. 9288) in 2004 as it went through the arduous process of policy-making. Dr. Padilla shared some strategies that can influence public policy which included: a) working with a collaborative, multi-disciplinary and persistent study group, b) having a range of effective communication strategies that must reach the public, the professionals and the policymakers, c) generating data and developing it into peer-reviewed publications to be used as basis for policy, d) engaging stakeholders and building public-private partnerships to create a multi-environment for easier adaptation, and e) identifying champions for policy development who will sponsor or lobby the advocacy.

Dr. Mario V. Capanzana, Director, Food and Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI) talked about undernutrition and its consequences not only at the individual but also at the national level. According to Dr. Capanzana, malnutrition, in its many forms, causes the country to lose around 1.5% of its GDP and also increase health costs. Research conducted by the FNRI has prompted the creation of the policy on Food Fortification as a way to mitigate micronutrient deficiency, a facet of malnutrition. Refinement of food fortification technology and studies on the efficacy of Iron-fortified Rice had been instrumental in technology transfer and commercialization of Iron-Fortified Rice as a Scaling-up strategy to also achieve food security.

In the afternoon session, a workshop was held for the participating members of the Regional Consortia for Health Research and Development. Each region was tasked to present a Research to Policy Plan involving one current or prospective research project using a template derived from the discussions in the morning session

Nakikiisa ang Philippine Council for Health Research and Development sa selebrasyon ng Buwan ng Wika na may temang “Filipino: Wika ng Saliksik.” Bilang pangunahing ahensya ng Kagawaran ng Agham at Teknolohiya na nangangasiwa sa pananaliksik sa larangan ng kalusugan, hinihikayat ng Konseho ang pagpapalawig ng paggamit at pangtangkilik ng wikang pambansa sa pananaliksik, hindi lamang tuwing buwan ng wika, kung hindi pati na rin sa pang araw-araw na kagamitan.


At bagamat mas nakararami ang mga nailimbag na saliksik na nakasulat sa wikang Ingles, mayroon pa ring mga mananaliksik na naglilimbag sa Filipino, tulad na lamang ng ilang saliksik na matagpuan sa HERDIN, ang pambansang repositoryo ng saliksik sa kalusugan, ilan sa mga nailimbag na artikulo ay:


  1. Ang sampung pangunahing sakit ng mga Filipino
  2. Parmakolohiya sa komunidad: Mga ipinagbibiling gamot sa mga sarisari store sa ilang barangay sa isang bayan sa timog Luzon at
  3. Parmakolohiya sa komunidad: Mga nakatagong gamot sa mga bahay sa Barangay Bungo, Gapan, Nueva Ecija

Kaakibat ng pagtangkilik sa mga saliksik na sinulat at nailimbag sa wikang Filipino, nais din namin palawigin ang paggamit ng wikang Filipino sa pamamagitan ng pagbibigay ng ilang direktang salin ng mga salitang agham at medikal tulad ng:


1. Haynayan – biology; isang natural na agham na nauukol sa pagaaral ng buhay at mga nabubuhay na organismo
Mikhaynayan – microbiology; isang natural na agham ukol pagaaral sa miktataghay o microorganism
Mulatling Haynayan – molecular biology; pagaaral ng mga istruktura at tungkulin ng mulatil o molecule sa mga nabubuhay na organismo

Halimbawa:

Bata pa lamang ay paborito na ni Jose ang haynayan, at ngayon, isa na siyang palabaga na naimbita na magsalita sa susunod na Philippine National Health Research System Week.


2. Palapuso –
cardiologist; isang dalubhasa ng palapusuan o cardiology
Palabaga – pulmonologist; isang dalubhasa ng palabagaan o pulmonology
Paladiglap – radiologist; isang dalubhasa ng paladiglapan o radiology

Halimbawa:

Nakuha mo na ba ng resulta ng iyong rayos-ekis sa paladiglap?


3. Kagaw – germ; mga miktataghay na nagdudulot ng sakit

Halimbawa:

Karamihan ng patalastas sa telebisyon ngayon tungkol sa alkohol ay nangangako na pupuksa sa siyamnapu’t siyam na pursyento ng mga kagaw.


4. Sihay –
cell; ang pinakapayak na kayarian ng mga buhay na organismo

Halimbawa:

Isinali ni Melchor ang kanyang saliksik tungkol sa hatimbutod o mitosis ng mga sihay sa susunod na National Medical Writing Workshop na gaganapin sa Zamboanga.


5. Muntilipay –
platelet; mga selula o sihay na may mahalagang papel sa pagpagaling ng mga sugat na dumadaan sa daluyan ng dugo 

Halimbawa:

Nalaman nilang may dengue si Maria nang magpositibo siya sa resulta ng Biotek-M  Dengue Aqua kit, at nalaman ding bumabagsak na ang bilang ng kanyang muntilipay.


6. Kaphay – plasma; isang bahagi ng dugo na ang pangunahing trabaho ay ang transportasyon ng mga ensyma, nutrisyon, at hormona

Halimbawa:

Itinuturing ng World Health Organization ang kaphay ng dugo na kabilang sa listahan ng mga pinakaimportanteng gamot na kailangan sa isang matagumpay at organisadong sistemang pangkalusugan.


7. Iti, daragis, balaod – tuberculosis; impeksyon sa baga na nagmumula sa isang uri ng ishay o bacteria, ang Myobacterium tuberculosis

Halimbawa:

Ang TB-Fit ay isang programang naglalayong subaybayan ang mga kaso ng iti sa mga komunidad upang makagawa ng sistematikong solusyon sa deteksyon ng naturang sakit.


8. Sukduldiin, altapresyon – hypertension; isang medikal na kondisyon kung saan ang presyon ng dugo sa mga malaking ugat ay labis na mataas

Halimbawa:

Ayon sa pagaaral ng Unibersidad ng Pilipinas-Maynila, may malaking papel ang hene o genes sa pagkakaroon ng karamdaman tulad ng altapresyon, sakit sa puso, at dyslipidemia.


9. Mangansumpong –
arthritis; ang pamamaga sa mga kasu-kasuan na nagiging sanhi ng kawalan ng kakayahang maiunat o maibaluktot at paninigas ng bahaging ito
Piyo – Gout; isang uri ng mangansumpong o rayuma na dulot ng abnormal na metabolismo ng uric acid.

Halimbawa:

Ayon sa Philippine Rheumatology Association, noong 2015, mahigit kumulang 1.6 milyong Pilipino ang may piyo na labis na nakakaapekto sa kanilang pangaraw-araw na pamumuhay.


10 .Balinguyngoy – nosebleed; pagdurugo ng ilong

Halimbawa:

Madalas na sinasabi na nakakadulot ng balinguyngoy ang labis na pagsasalita ng Ingles, pero sa katotohanan, ang pagkatuyo ng bamban o membrane sa loob ng ilong ang kadalasang sanhi nito.


Ngayong buwan ng wika, patuloy natin paigtingin ang paggamit at pagtangkilik sa sariling atin. Bagamat ang paggamit ng Ingles sa pananaliksik ay nagdudulot na mas maintindihan tayo ng mga banyaga, ang paggamit ng Filipino ay nakakatulong na maiparating natin ang mensahe at resulta ng ating trabaho sa mga payak na mamamayan. Kaya sa pagpapamuhay ng temang “Filipino: Wika ng Saliksik,” nawa’y patuloy nating ipagtibay ang ating layunin na makamit ang mas mabuti at mas produktibong kalusugan para sa lahat ng Pilipino!



For communication collaterals to be effective, there are important principles one has to follow. Ms. Monika Ortega of Inventive Media, a top web developer and digital marketing strategist, shared five important lessons during the 12th Philippine National Health Research System Week Preconference session on 6 August 2018 in Baguio City.

1. Know who you are. In any communication strategy, you have to determine your institution’s brand DNA. The kind of tone, purpose, and language in your marketing collaterals should be consistent with the brand of your institution. Embed the brand such as logo or color of your institution in your collaterals. There should be consistency in your materials across all dissemination platforms, Facebook, Twitter, and website.

2. Know what you want. Before designing the material answer first the question, “What do you want your audience do after reading the information?” Remember, a human’s attention span is too short, only eight seconds. In a digital environment wherein the audience is bombarded with too much information given this limited time, your design must stand out to capture their attention. Message should be focused and clear to make the first impression lead to your desired action.

3. Understand your users. The more you know about the needs and concerns of your audience, the more you are guided with the kind of message you will convey in your materials. Always put yourself in the shoes of your audience. You can engage more people into your campaign when they can relate to you.

4. Understand your platform. Different platform requires different content. Social media platform requires different specifications for video, visual materials, among others. They also have different analytics to measure reach, engagement, or audience involvement. Accessibility of these social media platform on different device should always be kept in mind. Moreover, not all content should be shared in all your social media platform as each has its own kind of audience.

5. Design is everyone’s job. Not everyone is a designer but everyone should embrace design thinking. This means, as the user of the collaterals we can improve the quality of materials we will produce. We can always pre-test the collaterals and make refinements.


The members and representatives of the Research Utilization Committees (RUC) in the 17 regions, gathered together to learn strategies on designing effective communication collaterals and website management, and reported their accomplishments for year 2017 to 2018.

Held last 6 August 2018 during the 12th Philippine National Health Research System (PNHRS) Week held in Baguio City, the pre-conference session was attended by 75 RUC members and representatives.

Highlight of the morning session are discussions that revolved on topic, “Communication Campaign: Designing Effective Collaterals,” which aims to raise awareness on the strategies in designing effective communication materials that can be incorporated in the communication plan of the RUCs. Three notable speakers were invited to discuss strategies on designing effective collaterals in print and digital media and how to improve audience engagement using online marketing.

Mr. Stanley Coloma, a Creative Evangelist from NasansiStan Design Co., discussed the importance of incorporating the institution’s branding in the collateral. He emphasized that institutions should be clear about their brand, brand identity, and branding guidelines. He also discussed the foundations of effective layout and standard tools in layout.

Ms. Monika Ortega, a User Experience Designer and Marketing Strategist at ClinkIT Solutions, shared some tips in removing friction in the way of users to fully utilize and use collaterals of research results. She explained the need for branding, the merits of knowing what message to deliver, the importance of knowing and understanding audience, and value of being knowledgeable about the institution’s information dissemination platforms.

The discussion of Mr. Bernard San Juan III, General Manager of TrueLogic Online Solutions Inc., highlighted the importance of having a great content in the communication materials. According to Mr. San Juan, a great content tells a story which can be achieved by making the content accessible, informative, media rich, answers questions, makes the audience better, allows people to interact, and evokes trust.

In the afternoon, the participants were trained on using the open source content management system, Joomla, which is used in managing their respective consortium website. Best part of the afternoon session was the reporting of the accomplishments of the RUCs wherein achievements for the published papers, conducted research conferences, and other activities were presented.


Pursuant to the Republic Act 10028, otherwise known as the Expanded Breastfeeding Promotion Act of 2009, we celebrate Breastfeeding Awareness Month during August every year to raise awareness and further promote breastfeeding in the country.

Breastfeeding is one of the safest and cost-effective ways to protect babies, young children, and their mothers against morbidity and mortality. As we celebrate the National Breastfeeding Awareness Month, here are some facts you should know about breastfeeding:

  • Infants should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months.

For the first six months of life, newborns must only receive breastmilk without any additional food and water.  Giving water at this early age endangers babies to diarrhea and malnutrition. Children should be breastfed up to two years and beyond.

  • Breastfeeding improves infant and maternal health.

Breastmilk contains nutrients and antibodies which help improve infant’s sensory and cognitive development, and lowers the risk of chronic conditions such as obesity, cholesterol, allergies, diabetes, asthma, cancer, high blood pressure, and pneumonia.

Breastfeeding not only creates a special bond between mother and child but also helps mothers to reduce the risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer.

  • HIV transmission through breastfeeding can be reduced with drug treatment.

HIV positive women can pass on the virus during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding. Infected women produce lower levels of protective antibody that fights diarrhea and other respiratory infections. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) advised infected women or their infant to undergo antiretroviral treatment throughout the breastfeeding period until the infant reach 12 months old to reduce the risk of transmitting HIV.

  • Complementary foods are advisable in addition to breastmilk.

Complementary feeding is the transition from exclusive breastfeeding to family foods. Appropriate complementary foods should be added to the child’s diet if the breastmilk is no longer enough to meet the child’s nutritional requirements which covers the period from six months and above. Foods must be prepared safely with right amount and texture according to child’s age.

According to the World Health Organization, in addition to breastmilk, “Infants should start receiving complementary foods at 6 months, initially 2-3 times a day between 6-8 months, increasing to 3-4 times daily between 9-11 months and 12-24 months with additional nutritious snacks offered 1-2 times per day, as desired.”

  • Infant formula is not recommended as replacement for breast milk.

The Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations of Executive Order No. 51 in the country, otherwise known as ‘Milk Code’ does not recommend infant or formula milk as replacement food for infants. Formula milk is harder to digest than breastmilk. It can be easily contaminated due to unpurified water, unsterilized containers and utensils, or even due to existing bacteria in the formula.  Although breastmilk has been replicated, the nutrients it contains are not enough for child’s health needs.

  • Breastfeeding, working moms are supported by law.

The Expanded Breastfeeding Promotion Act requires all health and non-health facilities and establishments to allocate space for lactation stations. The Act gives breastfeeding mothers additional break in addition to the regular time-off for meals to express their breast milk.

The Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) supports the programs and advocacies on proper breastfeeding.  

In fact, the National Unified Health Research Agenda (NUHRA), the consolidation of health research priorities of the country, identifies the importance of breast feeding research under the Research to enhance and extend healthy lives research priority area.

The Council supported a research program entitled, “Influences of Maternal Dietary Intake and Nutritional Status on the Microbiological and Chemical Compositions of Breast Milk from Selected Lactating Filipino Women at 0 to 4 Months Post-Partum” which aimed to establish the factors affecting the composition, physicochemical characteristics, and the microbiology of breast milk obtained from Filipino lactating women.

With the existing policies and laws, the Council looks forward to supporting more researches and programs that will benefit mothers and babies.


For more information about NUHRA and the priority areas, download the NUHRA now!