The recent Philippine National Health Research System (PNHRS) Week Celebration highlighted the growing commitment to Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in the Philippines. The event was lead by the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology and the Department of Health, and saw the participation of national and international experts in DRR, and numerous research consortia from all over the Philippines. With a central focus on the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the DRR related events recognised the significant disaster risks faced in the Philippines. They also illustrated the Philippine strengths and experience in DRR. Key innovations in science and technology showcased at the conference include the web-base hazard mapping applications ‘Project NOAH’ and ‘FaultFinder’. Other notable innovations include ‘Surveillance in Post Extreme Emergencies and Disasters’ (SPEED) which monitors potential outbreaks through a syndromic reporting system. Three areas noted for further development in DRR science and technology included: integrated national hazard assessment, strengthened collaboration, and improved documentation. Finally, the event saw the proposal to develop the Philippines into a global hub for DRR. The combination of the risk profile of the Philippines, established national structures and experience in DRR, as well as scientific and technological innovation in this field are potential factors that could position the Philippines as a future global leader in DRR. The purpose of this article is to formally document the key messages of the DRR-related events of the PNHRS Week Celebration.
Affiliation: Philippine Council for Health Research and Development, Department of Science and Technology, Manila, Philippines
Ms. Opeña is the focal person of the Philippine National Health Research System (PNHRS, www.healthresearch.ph, led by the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development, Department of Science and Technology (DOST). In 2015, she ran the DOST and COHRED (Council on Health Research for Development, Geneva) 2015 Global Forum on Research and Innovation for Health in Manila which had an oversubscribed track on disaster risk reduction and health. As an offshoot of the Global Forum, and in the recently concluded 10th PNHRS Week celebration last 10-11 August 2016, the DOST committed to pursue the development of a global hub on innovations which deal with disaster risk reduction, climate change and health. Ms. Opeña heads the research programs on ICT in health and biomedical devices. She currently co-chairs the Department of Health-DOST eHealth Technical Working Group. She pioneered work on technology transfer, health research databases and information systems.