Dr. Lupisan steers the Institution forward this 2017

Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) Director Dr. Socorro P. Lupisan delivered the first “State of RITM Address (SORA)” last January 30 at the Training Center Auditorium.

During the SORA, feedback about the Institute’s accomplishments, and future initiatives were presented to RITM staff.

Moreover, Dr. Lupisan underscored that the Institute’s thrust and priority revolves around improving service delivery to better cater the needs of the Filipinos.

One important metric towards achieving this goal is the ISO 9001:2015 accreditation. RITM has already conducted an internal audit in preparation for the actual ISO audit this coming March.

According to Dr. Lupisan, most of the findings in the internal audit are now being resolved. She reminded staff that they “just need to implement what is written in the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and follow the process flows as a way of life” and the Institute can earn the thumbs up from the ISO auditors.

RITM also plans to strengthen its research groups in producing globally competitive studies for public health through its newly established Research and Innovation Office (RIO). “We hope to create more impact in the public health sector through developing and communicating health policies based on our research outputs and data,” said Dr. Lupisan.

True to its oath of serving the Filipino people, RITM’s Technology, Transfer, and Review Committee (TTRC) is set to become a Training Office this April to further build staff capacity and better their skills in delivering the Institution’s vision.

RITM aims to continuously improve their services in surveillance, management, biologicals production, and most importantly, patient care.

“With all these plans set in motion. I enjoin everyone to help us achieve the Institution’s vision. Let us all be united in our endeavors as we embark on yet another dynamic year. In our continuous pursuit of excellence, we will journey on and collectively fulfill what we have set out to do because we are OneRITM!,” said Dr. Lupisan as she ended her encouraging address.

RITM in numbers

Last year, RITM made fruitful progress in the local and international scene of public health as it distributed more than 46 million vaccines all over the country and produced more than eight thousand ampoules of purified cobra antivenin (PCAV), 62% of which have been provided to stakeholders upon request.

The Institute processed 100,000 outbreak samples in its outbreak investigations and performed almost 66,000 confirmatory tests. In response to the Zika outbreak in the last quarter of 2016, RITM conducted tests and was able to confirm 61 cases to date.

The Institution catered to almost 89,000 patients and provided them with quality hospital services as there are two nurses for every bed, and one doctor for every ten beds.

RITM has been actively communicating research and surveillance data for Health Sector Policies with 21 research projects, 97% of which are published in international journals. The Institution has also been proactive in its conduct of trainings to almost 2 thousand individuals from different local government units and partners nationwide.

Last but certainly not the least, RITM celebrated a milestone as it marked its 35th year of being responsive in providing relevant and quality health services to all Filipinos against infectious and tropical diseases.

by Allenor Enciso