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The Philippine Health Research Ethics Board (PHREB) launched the 2017 National Ethical Guidelines for Health and Health-Related Research (NEGHHR) during the 11th Philippine National Health Research Week held on 24 August 2017 at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC).

With the continuing rapid developments in health and health-related science and technology and the rights and welfare of all individuals and communities involved as participants in mind, the existing ethical guidelines was updated to ensure adherence to local, national, and international principles, and values and respect for Filipino morals and culture.

The new edition seeks to address the question as to what constitutes health research while filling the gaps in areas not sufficiently covered in earlier editions. Likewise, it gives due course to the nuances in principles and regulations as they apply to different fields, types, and methodologies of research. Recognizing the broad understanding of health and the dimensions of disease and illness, the Guidelines also features a detailed section on health-related social science research.

The notable changes in the 2017 guidelines are the title, section revisions (e.g., responsibilities of various stakeholders, elements of research ethics), new added guidelines (e.g., research using online and digital tools, mental health research), and amended guidelines (e.g., clinical research, research involving IPs).

Speaking at the launch were Dr. Marita V.T. Reyes Chair, Ad Hoc Committee for Updating National Ethical Guidelines and Dr. Leonardo de Castro, Co-Chair, and PHREB Chair. “It (NEGHHR) reflects the faithfulness of PHREB to its responsibility to ethics in health research,” said Dr. Reyes.

Other members of the ad hoc committee are Dr. Ricardo M. Manalastas, Jr., Chair, PHREB Committee on Information Dissemination, Training, and Advocacy (CIDTA), Prof. Edlyn B. Jimenez, Coordinator, UP Manila Research Ethics Board (UPM REB), Dr. Rosario Angeles T. Alora, Head, Bioethics Committee, University of Santo Tomas Hospital, Dr. Cecilia V. Tomas, Member, PHREB Committee on Standards and Accreditation (CSA), and Dr. Evangeline O. Santos, Clinical Associate Professor, College of Medicine, UPM Member, PHREB CSA.

According to Dr. Jaime C. Montoya, Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) Director, NEGHHR is definitely an affirmation of PHREB’s efforts to address emerging ethical issues in the conduct of health research and he commended the dedicated efforts of PHREB and its Ad Hoc Committee members in leading the revision of the guidelines.

The revised Guidelines shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its publication in the Official Gazette. Download the 2017 National Ethical Guidelines for Health and Health-Related Research (NEGHHR) at http://www.ethics.healthresearch.ph/

 

 

 

Six principles of an effective mental health program were presented by Dr. Anselmo Tronco, Chair, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine of the Philippine General Hospital in the Drug Addiction and Mental Health Session during the 11th Philippine National Health Research System Week celebration on 24 August 2017 at the Philippine International Convention Center, Pasay City.

1. Address stigma.
People with mental health illness confront two challenges – the syndrome of the sickness itself and the discrimination they experience from the people around them. According to WHO, stigma has negative effects to the patients as it deteriorates self-esteem, disrupts family relationships and limits patient’s ability to socialize and secure housing and jobs. People thinks mentally ill patients are violent and dangerous but in fact patients have higher tendency to hurt themselves than hurting other people. Dr. Tronco urged for mental health awareness and campaigns be included in mental health programs.

2. Create relationship with the stakeholders for mental health
Local chief executives have important role in integrating a mental health program in the community because they have the power to bring together services from the health and non-health sectors.

3. Experience a process of sharing, validation, and problem-solving

Build support groups where communities can share experience of difficulties, identify common reactions, validate good stories of coping, and facilitate plans for action. Aside from the family where patients can gather strength and resilience, community is a single most important resource for Mental Health Interventions.

4. Involve the family in the program
As partners in providing care to persons with mental disorder, families also need some form of support. Family go through immense pressure in taking care of a patient, that’s why, services such as family education and training, support, and counseling on mental health should be available and accessible to them. Like support groups for the patients, support group where family members can get opportunity to share fears and learn lessons on coping should be established.

5. Harness Community Resilience on Mental Health
Build on the successes of the mental health programs in the communities. Look at the social and cultural practices on how people in communities overcome stress and deal with the challenges of life. Harnessing community resilience also requires human resource that can effectively mobilize community services and infrastructure for mental health.

6. Grab opportunities from crisis and disasters
When disaster strikes, leaders usually listen and responds to communal pain. There are opportunities for mental health programs to highlight emotional and social needs since disasters creates a context of shared grief and recovery.

Even before the government’s campaign against illegal drugs, Talisay City in Cebu implements a community-based outpatient treatment and aftercare program which provides comprehensive care for people with substance use disorder.

Dr. Rey Cesar Bautista, Medical Officer III of the Talisay City Health Office, boasted of the city’s community-based outpatient treatment and aftercare program in the Drug Addiction and Mental Health Session during the 11th Philippine National Health Research System Week celebration on 24 August 2017 at the Philippine International Convention Center, Pasay City.

Established in 2012, the City Health Office, together with the Social Welfare Office, run the rehabilitation program composed of the following services: drug dependency examination and assessment, 90-day outpatient recovery program, aftercare, and Strategies Toward Acceptance, Reintegration and Transformation (START) Program.

The 90-day outpatient recovery and aftercare program is based on the 12-step program of Narcotics Anonymous and the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for recovery from the effects of addiction. This phase includes mandatory group counseling, random drug testing, group therapy sessions with facilitator, support group meetings, family therapy and family support group meetings, and other recovery activities.

Dr. Bautista reiterated the important role of family and community in the continuous recovery of a patient. “Addicts should be not isolated from their families and communities because addiction is a lonely journey which needs for membership in a fellowship,”  explained Dr. Bautista.

Successful patients of the 90-day outpatient treatment proceed with the START program which allows them to undergo livelihood skills training, education, and employment opportunities. This phase of the program is designed for continuous stable recovery since the patients were given opportunities to earn money and become productive members of the society. "Let us not provide them with fish but teach them to be fishermen. It is only through engaging them to work that they will value money’s worth,” emphasized Dr. Bautista.

Though the program is short on the number of days mandated by R.A. No. 9165 which is not less than 6-month recovery program plus the 18-month aftercare and follow up program, Dr. Bautista narrated success stories of persons with substance use disorder who recovered and became productive members of society. According to Dr. Bautista, the secret to the success of their program is having clear vision, high-level commitment, leadership, and community participation.

In the end of his talk, Dr. Bautista pointed out the need to eliminate the stigma to substance abusers and their families and to promote in the communities the positive outcomes of supporting rehabilitation programs. “Carry the message of recovery not carry the addicts,” stressed Dr. Bautista.

(L-R) Dr. Alice Joan G. Ferrer of UP Visayas, Dr. Elinda C. Palaganas of UP Baguio, Dr. Maria Lourdes K . Otayza of Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital and Medical Center, and Prof. Fatima Castillo of UP Manila conclude the first half of the contributed papers session entitled "Alternative Gender-Aware Indices for Measuring Poverty: Implication for Healthcare for the Poor" by awarding certificates of appreciation to the speakers, Dr. Palaganas and Prof. Castillo.

(L-R) Dr. Alice Joan G. Ferrer of UP Visayas, Dr. Elinda C. Palaganas of UP Baguio, Dr. Maria Lourdes K . Otayza of Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital and Medical Center, and Prof. Fatima Castillo of UP Manila conclude the first half of the contributed papers session entitled "Alternative Gender-Aware Indices for Measuring Poverty: Implication for Healthcare for the Poor" by awarding certificates of appreciation to the speakers, Dr. Palaganas and Prof. Castillo.

In the recently concluded 11th Philippine National Health Research System (PNHRS) Week, researchers presented a paper discussing an alternative way of measuring poverty through different predetermined factors.

The research paper entitled, “Alternative Gender-Aware Indices for Measuring Poverty: Implication for Healthcare for the Poor” was part of the contributed papers session of the PNHRS Week on 24 August at the Philippine International Convention Center.

Unlike the index used by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which use daily income and household as unit of measurement, the new poverty index, called Individual Deprivation Measure (IDM), provides a personal account of poverty in every assessed individual.

Through a three-phased, multi-year, multi-country, interdisciplinary study, the IDM takes into consideration individual factors such as age, gender, environment, and other key areas of life like access to food, water, shelter, health services, education, proper sanitation, and work and livelihood.

To develop the IDM, participants of the research were asked to enumerate items and aspects that they believe could help them escape poverty. The top 15 key areas ranked according to importance was used as the basis for creating the IDM.

With the new index, a new perspective on poverty can be considered by governments and international organizations in developing programs and policies for the poor.

 The study is a collaborative effort of the Australian National University, in partnership with the International Women’s Development Agency (IWDA), and five other Indo-Pacific countries which will use the IDM as a benchmark for global poverty.

For more information, please visit the IWDA and IDM websites..

Five researchers were given the “Most ready to publish paper award” in the 12th National Medical Writing Workshop and 5th Writeshop for Young Researchers on 7-8 August 2017 at the Pan Pacific Hotel, Malate, Manila. 

Mr. Paul Froilan Garma, Ms. Anna Kristina Hernandez, and Dr. Anna Angelica Macalalad-Josue of the University of the Philippines Manila - Philippine General Hospital, Ms. Phyllis Anne Paclibare and Ms. Alyzza Marie Calayag of the University of the Philippines Diliman, received the award. The five research papers were considered the most organized and well-written among the 37 research papers reviewed. The winners received tokens and certificates. 

Twice a year, the Department of Science and Technology - Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD), in cooperation with the Philippine Association of Medical Journal Editors (PAMJE) and Asia Pacific Association of Medical Journal Editors (APAME), conducts a writing workshop which aims to help young investigators in health and health social sciences acquire practical knowledge and skills in preparing scientific articles for publication in scholarly peer-reviewed journals.