RITM ARI embarks on IMCI Evaluation after SATREPS project completion

Following the completion of the SATREPS project, RITM-TOHOKU Collaborating Research Center on Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases continues the implementation of the Childhood Pneumonia Project focusing on the transmission of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in the community.

“The SATREPS project funded by JICA was completed but the Childhood Pneumonia Project is still ongoing. Now we are moving towards looking at RSV under the RITM-TOHOKU Collaboration. It was the most common pathogen observed in children with pneumonia. It was not causing mortality but it was causing illnesses and admissions to hospital. We’re looking at the RSV transmission so that we can come up with recommendation for control, an RSV vaccine maybe, so we can decrease hospital admissions of children,” says Dr. Socorro Lupisan, RITM Director and Childhood Pneumonia Project investigator.

The Research Institute for Tropical medicine (RITM), through its Acute Respiratory Illnesses (ARI) Study Group received a 20 million-peso sub-allotment from the Disease Prevention and Control Bureau (DPCB) for the evaluation of the Integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses (IMCI) program as continuation of the Childhood Pneumonia Project.

The RITM ARI Study Group is also looking at evaluating the implementation of the existing IMCI programs of the Department of Health in relation to the success of the pilot implementation of the eIMCI Plus, a new Integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses (IMCI) program composed of pneumonia-diagnosing applications loaded in a computer tablet plus a pulse oximeter device as an additional respiratory assessment tool.

This Childhood Pneumonia Project was originally part of the intervention study under the SATREPS project “Comprehensive Etiological and Epidemiological Study on Acute Respiratory Infections in Children: Providing Evidence for the Prevention and Control of Childhood Pneumonia in the Philippines” that started on April 2011 and ended on March 31, 2017. It was a joint research project funded by the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) through its Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development (SATREPS) program.

The SATREPS project looked at the etiology, burden of the disease, and the risk factors of childhood pneumonia. Laboratory testing sites were set up in selected project hospitals: (1) RITM Hospital and Laboratory, (2) Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center (EVRMC) in Tacloban City, Leyte, (3) Ospital Ng Palawan (ONP) in Puerto Princesa, and (4) Biliran Provincial Hospital (BPH) in BIliran Province. A cohort study was also conducted in two municipalities and twenty-five barangays (villages) of Biliran wherein 2,000 children where signed up to the pilot implementation of a the eIMCI Plus program.

by Reina Manongsong