DOST-PCHRD signs MOU with Thailand’s Mahidol University to implement capacity building activities for health researchers

The Department of Science and Technology - Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Faculty of Tropical Medicine (FTM), Mahidol University (SEAMEO TROPMED Thailand) for the implementation of capacity building activities for health researchers on 13 December 2021 via Zoom. 

The MOU outlines the cooperation between the two institutions, which will provide scholarship grants for masteral and doctorate degrees, enable the shared use of facilities for research and training, boost knowledge exchange, and promote collaborations between other relevant scientific institutions and organizations from the Philippines and Thailand, among others. 

Through this partnership, support will be given in the areas of tropical diseases epidemiologic studies, endemic and emerging diseases associated with changing environment, diagnosis of tropical infections by immunological and molecular biological methods, and tropical medicine and public health.

The virtual signing ceremony was attended by officials from both countries, including Philippine Ambassadress to Thailand Her Excellency Millicent Cruz-Paredes, SEAMEO TROPMED Secretary General Dr. Pratap Singhasivanon, SEAMEO Secretariat Director Dr. Ethel Agnes Pascua- Valenzuela, DOST Assistant Secretary for International Cooperation Dr. Leah J. Buendia, DOST-PCHRD Executive Director Dr. Jaime C. Montoya, and Mahidol University-FTM Dean Assoc. Prof. Weerapong Phumratanaprapin.

H.E. Paredes-Cruz praised the initiative in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. ”It is very encouraging that despite the restrictions imposed on us by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, cooperation between the Philippines and Thailand in the field of science and technology continues to expand and be enhanced as exemplified by the signing of this MOU,” she says.

Expressing his hope for more initiatives like this, Dr. Singhasivanon highlights how the “MOU can serve as a model for other SEAMEO member countries on how best to tap other sources of funds for their health research development efforts.”

Dr. Montoya described the partnership as proof of PCHRD’s commitment to strengthening the country’s pool of researchers. “Establishing partnerships has always been a key strategy for us to accelerate our capacities in health and our overall S&T goals,” he says. “This collaboration will surely advance our knowledge of the field of tropical medicine and public health,” he added.

In his recorded message, Sec. de la Pena emphasized how “scholars who bring an array of experiences, perspectives, and accomplishments” will “be given a valuable chance to work, learn, and come together to make their mark in their respective fields” through the program. “This initiative remains true to DOST’s mission to provide world-class scientific, technological, and innovative solutions geared towards maximum economic and social benefits for the people,” he says.

Under the MOU, the partnership between DOST-PCHRD and Mahidol University is valid for three years.