The RITM Parasitology Department, in cooperation with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), conducted its 2nd RITM Malaria Research Stakeholders’ Forum last May 2-3, 2018 in Sunlight Guest Hotel, Coron, Palawan. The forum’s objectives were to discuss progress and priorities for malaria research and to collectively develop an enhanced surveillance strategy for malaria elimination in the Philippines.
The forum showcased the collaborative malaria researches by the RITM Laboratory Research Division’s Departments of Parasitology, Medical Entomology, Molecular Biology and Immunology, as well as potential new tools and interventions which were presented by the invited local and international researchers. It included panel discussions on malaria elimination in relation to case and vector surveillance, and breakout sessions for stakeholder consultations. Through the breakout sessions, the local and international stakeholders were able to discuss the challenges in achieving malaria elimination, and the way forward on how all can work together to realize the goal of a malaria-free Philippines by 2030. Future consultations with the stakeholders are expected to continue the momentum.
A total of 55 guests participated in the forum, including representatives from the Department of Health’s National Malaria Program and technical working group, local stakeholders from provinces where RITM conducts malaria researches (i.e., Palawan, Occidental Mindoro, Bataan), Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD), as well as DOH local malaria coordinators, local epidemiology units, academics, international research collaborators and partners from Asia Pacific Malaria Elimination Network (APMEN), Health Geolab Collaborative, Global Good, and LSHTM. The first RITM forum with malaria research stakeholders was conducted in Puerto Princesa, Palawan last March 2016.
by Maria Lourdes M. Macalinao, Parasitology Department Science Research Specialist II