RITM receives Rabies Laboratory Container Van
RITM Director Dr. Celia C. Carlos (left) with JAPOHR Chief Advisor Dr. Akira Nishizono (middle) and JICA Senior Representative Mr. Masanari Yanagiuchi (right) during the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the rabies laboratory container van.

The Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) received a laboratory container van for rabies diagnosis from Oita University through the Japan and Philippines One Health Rabies (JAPOHR) Project last January 30, 2023.

Counterpart Principal Investigator for the JAPOHR Project and former Head of the RITM Rabies Research Group Dr. Beatriz P. Quiambao graced the turnover ceremony and welcomed the distinguished guests from JICA Philippines, Oita University, and Japan Embassy.

Dr. Quiambao extended her gratitude to the partners behind this collaboration and highlighted the ceaseless support JAPOHR Project has been receiving since 2018. She also emphasized that the laboratory container van will contribute to delivering one of the three main outputs of the project which is the introduction of novel diagnostic methods for rabies.

According to RITM Chief Science Research Specialist Dr. Daria Manalo, the rabies laboratory container van which is officially named as the “Rabies Research and Diagnostic Laboratory (RRDL)” will be used for the different processes in rabies diagnosis. The diagnosis starts with sample collection. The standard specimen for rabies diagnosis is the brain, however, there are novel specimens that can be used for rabies diagnoses such as nasal planum and follicle sinus complex (FSC). Different diagnostic methods are currently being developed and validated.   

As rabies remains to be a major concern to public health in the country, this facility will greatly help in performing one of our core mandates in the Institute. This will further equip our researchers and staff to be assigned in the newly designated National Reference Laboratory for Rabies by the Department of Health,” said by RITM Director Dr. Celia C. Carlos as she accepted the symbolic key for the laboratory container van.

The JAPOHR Project aims to introduce novel diagnostic methods for rabies; establish a rabies network model; and, control and prevent rabies though the RAPINA serosurveillance system. The project is implemented through SATREPS or the Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development (SATREPS) and will be concluded this August 2023.

by Yvette Kirsten Gimena, Communication and Engagement Office