RITM leads ILI and SARI annual meeting

The Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) held the third Influenza-like Illness (ILI) and Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI) Sentinel Sites’ Annual Meeting with representatives from National Reference Laboratories, Sub-National Laboratories, Sentinel Sites, and Regional and Central Offices across the country.

Experts provided updates on the ILI and SARI surveillance implementation, and discussed possible solutions that would address challenges encountered. More importantly, strategies were developed and commitment to improve and sustain the National ILI and SARI surveillance were renewed.

“We need to monitor trends and patterns in isolates and influenza activities for early detection of events with pandemic potential and to support seasonal vaccine use which aids the country’s pandemic preparedness,” said Western Pacific Surveillance and Response – Emerging Disease Surveillance and Response Medical Officer Dr. Erica Lynn Dueger.

In light of the recent incidence of Avian Influenza in the country, RITM Surveillance Officer Ms. Rowena Capistrano underscored that “this gathering serves as an avenue for us to discuss sustainability of current sentinel sites and the probability of expanding sites all throughout the country. Furthermore, this strengthens our commitment to deliver early detection and response, and continued preparedness for the next pandemic.”

RITM continues to reinforce DOH’s thrust for national preparedness to enhance country’s capacity to detect outbreaks early, respond promptly, and minimize the health, economic, social, and political impact of public health emergencies.

by Allenor Enciso, Communication and Engagement Office [RITM Web Team]