On Thursday, 11 October 2012, the Institute of Philippine Culture (IPC), in collaboration with the Philippine Council for Health (PCHRD), hosted an eHealth online conference on “What We Should Know About the New SARS-like Virus?”
The discussion threads covered the following (From the Moderator’s summary of the conference proceedings):
1. Updates on the novel coronavirus infection, including concerns about transmissability
2. Existence of an integrated plan in the country for dealing with an outbreak of SARS or this new virus. Although there have been policy issuances and holding capacity-building activities after the SARS outbreak, there seems to be a need for greater clarity on the guidance on how to report and manage suspected cases and how to prevent infections. This considers the important role of the DOH in leading the whole health sector in addressing these needs. A related concern is how to bring down information to the local level and the private sector.
3. Need for the media to be provided guidelines in the responsible reporting of health emergencies because of the difficulties experienced in managing sensationalized news and rumors during the 2003 SARS outbreak. It was recommended that the public should be able to scrutinize information and be critical of the source of information.
4. Masks and Handwashing: Cultural and Behavioral Dimensions of our Response to SARS to highlight the social phenomenon of the response to the SARS outbreak and to generate interest on the sociocultural aspects of other potential health emergencies.
The IPC would like to thank the following who served as resource persons:
Dr. Jose Ramoncito Navarro, Faculty, College of Medicine, Emilio Aguinaldo College of Medicine
Dr. Maria Consorcia Lim Quizon, Executive Director of the South Asia Field Epidemiology and Technology Network (Safetynet)
Dr. Faith Gaerlan, Medical Action Group, (MAG) Inc.
Dr. Revelyn Cayabyab, former DOH CHD-1 Regional Epidemiologist
Dr. Maurizio Barbeschi, Global Capacity, Alert and Response, World Health Organization
Dr. Tamano Matsui, WHO Western Pacific Regional Office, and Dr. Troy Gepte of Ateneo De Manila University who served as moderator.
The eHealth portal (www.ehealth.ph), which aimed to connect health communities online and to support the Drug Discovery and Development Program of the PCHRD and DOST, was developed under an IPC project directed by Dr. Dennis Batangan, IPC Research Associate. The first conference held under the ehealth portal on 15 September 2012 was devoted to the discussion of virgin coconut oil.