NTD LabDx equips medical technologists
Photo coutesy of Sherwin Galit of Parasitology Department.
In photo: Participants conducting lab procedures for the detection of parasitic NTDs.

The Parasitology, Immunology, Dermatology, and Veterinary Research Departments of the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) trained 21 medical technologists on aCompetency-Based Integrated Training on the Laboratory Diagnosis of Neglected Tropical Diseases of Public Health Importance in the Philippines (NTD LabDx) on June 3-7, 2019 at the Department of Health (DOH) Region II, Inter-Regional Collaboration and Training Center in Tuguegarao City.

The medical technologists for this batch represented the regional, provincial, city, rural, and district hospitals of DOH Regional Health Office II, who are involved in the diagnosis and confirmation of NTDs (Soil Transmitted Helminthiasis, Schistosomiasis, Filariasis, Paragonimiasis, Rabies and Leprosy) in their respective units.

According to RITM Parasitology Learning and Development Intervention Coordinator Sherwin Galit, highly effective educational methods and techniques were employed during the training. These included intensive lectures on NTDs, demonstration of different laboratory procedures, and individual graded unknown examination. Quality assurance, biosafety, and International Air Transport Association (IATA)-compliant packaging and transport of specimens were also discussed.

The training aimed to develop medical technologists who will be competent in performing laboratory diagnosis of specified NTDs and apply them in their respective laboratories.

This training equipped these medical technologists with the knowledge and skills to diagnose NTDs that will contribute to the mission of the DOH that guarantees equitable, sustainable, and quality health for all Filipinos especially the poor in the country,” said Galit.

Four more regions (i.e. Regions III, VII, IX, and XI) are scheduled for training this year. The training began last December and will run until September 2019 as part of the DOH Philippine Health Agenda (2016-2022) to end identified communicable diseases, including NTDs, by 2030.

by Allenor Enciso, Communication and Engagement Office