Members and representatives of the PNHRS Research Utilization Committee from the 17 regional health research and development consortia participated in the 13th Philippine National Health Research System (PNHRS) Week pre-conference session, “Campaigning towards AIDS-free Society,” held last 13 August 2019 in Cagayan de Oro City.

Highlights of the morning session are discussions which aims to raise awareness on the growing HIV/AIDS concern in the country by developing effective information campaigns. Three notable speakers were invited to discuss HIV/AIDS research, share experiences in handling patients with HIV, and lecture on the skills and techniques in developing information campaigns.

Dr. Emmanuel Baja, a PCHRD Balik Scientist awardee from UP Manila, discussed his study on HIV Gaming, Engaging, and Testing. He shared that through his research, they were able to develop a mobile application, Battle in the Blood, which became a very powerful tool in advocating towards the elimination of stigma on HIV and encouraged people to get themselves tested for HIV. Dr. Baja emphasized that in campaigning towards a certain cause, people engagement is crucial to truly make them relate to the advocacy.

Dr. Bernadeth Gerodias, a psychologist at the Southern Philippines Medical Center, shared her experiences in handling patients suffering from HIV. She explained that professionals supporting patients living with HIV need to make space for their patients to process the emotional effect of their diagnosis, but not to make assumptions about what it means to them. Dr. Gerodias explained that because HIV’s psychological effects vary with every person, the approach into developing mental care and support for them also vary.

The discussion of Ms. Nini Santos, Consultant and Communication Expert from USAID STRIDE, underscores some of the strategies in developing information campaigns.  According to Ms. Santos, highlighting the mission in the content, exploring partnerships and engagements with different groups, and using appropriate channel for distribution are key elements into ensuring a successful campaign.

In the afternoon, the participants were grouped and assigned to work on their group’s campaign strategy applying all that they have learned during the morning session. After the workshop, the RUC held a business meeting to harmonize the RU Committee name and functions across the regions.

Call for Research Proposals: AHEAD-HPSR Program

The Department of Health (DOH) and the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) is pleased to announce the first call for research proposals for the Advancing Health through Evidence-Assisted Decisions with Health Policy and Systems Research (AHEAD-HPSR) Program.
Interested institutions, organizations, and researchers are invited to submit a full proposal on any of the topics listed below.


    1. Detailed Proposal and Work Plan

The potential proponent shall prepare a detailed proposal using the prescribed DOST form that presents among others the following:

    1. Title of proposed project
    2. Information about the Project Leader
    3. Significance and objectives of the project
    4. Review of related literature (references to illustrate/describe the baseline data)
    5. Theoretical framework (key assumptions and critical areas in conceptualization stage)
    6. Methodology/strategies for implementation
    7. Expected Output
    8. Target beneficiaries
    9. Gender sensitivity/responsiveness (based on the harmonized gender and development guidelines)
    10. Personnel and financial requirement
    11. Duration of the program/project
    12. Work Plan or Gantt Chart of activities
    13. Curriculum vitae of Project Leader, and other Co-researchers/implementers
  1. Line Item Budget
  2. Potential Proponent/Project Leader shall submit the proposal duly endorsed by the Head of Agency/Institution.
  3. Potential Proponent/Project Leader with 2 or more on going researches may not need to participate.

Kindly register as a proponent at and attach the above requirements on or before August 30, 2019

For queries, contact Ms. Clarissa B. Reyes at (02) 837-2071 Local 2110 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

In the wake of the mounting reported cases of dengue in the country, Secretary Fortunato de la Peña of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) suggests the use of DOST innovation/product to help in addressing this problem. “Dengue research and development has always been one of the priority research areas as stated in the Harmonized National Research and Development Agenda (HNRDA) led by the DOST. Through the DOST- Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD), we have funded a number of research projects and programs that is consistent with the multi-prong approach in the control of Dengue that address different aspects such as diagnosis and treatment.  In the area of diagnosis, we funded the development of a rapid diagnostic test (Biotek M) for dengue that can diagnose the disease as early as two to three days after the onset of illness.  This will be very helpful in making the early diagnosis of dengue so that prompt management can be done to prevent complications. This will also help  decongest the hospitals that are constrained to keep the  dengue suspects confined in the hospital for monitoring until the diagnosis is established  as well as to alleviate the anguish of patients and their relatives as to the confirmation of the diagnosis of dengue. This diagnostic kit  is already available in a number of public hospitals . We have asked the technology developer to make it available to the affected areas of dengue in cooperation with our regional offices and the Department of Health.”

The DOST is also funding the clinical trials for the evaluation of a possible herbal medicine for dengue that has multiple mechanisms of action: anti-viral activity against the dengue virus, can elevate the platelet levels which are seen in the complicated cases of dengue responsible for bleeding and reduction of plasma leakage which contributes to the lowering of blood pressure among the dengue patients. The Phase I clinical trial will just start and completion up to Phase 3 clinical trials is required for certification and approval by the Food and Drug Administrationin (FDA).  To date there is no available therapeutic medicine for dengue anywhere else in the world

According to Secretary de la Peña, “We have also supported the development of herbal supplements that can help patients affected with dengue. The herbal supplements that include single and combination herbal preparations are already ready for submission to the FDA.  These herbs are derived from folkloric use and have passed safety and toxicity studies..  We have  requested the technology developers to make this available at the soonest time possible after satisfying all the regulatory requirements. We are also coordinating with the FDA regarding this.”

The 13th Philippine National Health Research System (PNHRS) Week celebration comes to the City of Golden Friendship, Cagayan de Oro City on August 13-16.

Hosted by the Northern Mindanao Consortium for Health Research and Development (NorMinCOHRD), this year’s PNHRS Week theme is “Achieving Health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through Research and Innovation."   The celebration serves as a platform for the different stakeholders to discuss the current situation, challenges, and advancements related to improving health and equity through reinforced health research and innovation in the regions and local communities.

Plenary and parallel sessions of the main conference will cover topics related to strengthening partnerships and contributing research-based solutions in achieving Universal Health Care and health-related SDGs. Satellite events will feature capacity building sessions for the health research community.

For more information about the PNHRS Week, please visit


The University of the Philippines (UP) obtains high citation scores in the 2019 Times Higher Education World University Rankings. With a score of 98.8, the university beats prominent world universities such as Harvard University, the University of Oxford and Stanford University for citations in clinical and pre-clinical health researches.

Citation scores indicate the number of times a research has been cited in other research outputs.  The score serves as an indicator of the impact or influence of a research project which other researchers use as reference from which they can build on succeeding breakthroughs or innovations.

The Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) has supported projects from UP in the fields of genomics, diagnostics, and drug discovery, among others.  One of the funded projects which has been spun off as start-up company is Biotek™ led by Dr. Raul Destura of the UP-National Institutes of Health (UP-NIH) for dengue diagnostics.

The Council works closely with UP Manila as one of the implementing institutions of the Philippine National Health Research System (PNHRS).