RITM, through its Surveillance and Response Unit, oriented the four visiting Philippine Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP) Fellows of the DOH Epidemiology Bureau on the significant role of laboratories, particularly the laboratory referral network in disease surveillance. The orientation was held during the Fellows’ on-site visit at RITM on June 21-22, 2018 at the RITM Training Center.
FETP is a special two-year post-graduate program of the Department of Health (DOH) integrated to cultivate knowledge and skills in epidemiology among healthcare professionals. Together with RITM, FETP has been in the forefront of every public health threat in the Philippines.
As the need for epidemiologists grew more and more especially with the emergence of new diseases, FETP has enlisted four new fellows from all over the country in training to investigate outbreaks and epidemics, report and analyze surveillance data, develop methodologies for disease prevention and control, and utilize epidemiological information for planning, managing and evaluating health services.
During their visit, RITM health experts provided lectures explaining the significant role of laboratories especially the laboratory referral network in disease surveillance. RITM also briefed them in biosafety, and proper sample collection, handling, storage and transport for accurate laboratory diagnosis.
Promoting a two-way communication helps the laboratory receive and test samples immediately and prevent loss of vital laboratory information due to loss, rejection or mishandling of specimens. This, in turn, would greatly aid the field investigators in dealing and detecting outbreaks for better interventions, disease prevention and control.
by Glenelyn Grace V. Infante, Surveillance and Response Unit