Surveillance and Response Unit holds 1st Annual Meeting

RITM-SRU team together with its stakeholders and participants at the 1st Annual Meeting.

The Research Institute for Tropical Medicine through its Surveillance and Response Unit (RITM-SRU) organized its 1st Annual Meeting with partners and stakeholders on April 5-7 at the Crimson Hotel.

RITM Surveillance Officer Rowena Capistrano led SRU’s first of many meetings. Capistrano explained that SRU “aim[s] to continue this annual meeting to further strengthen our partnership and forge a unified effort in preventing, detecting, and responding to all emerging and re-emerging disease both occurring naturally or intentionally.”

Ultimately, SRU intends to prime trainers, and prepare frontline outbreak responders for emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases while strengthening and improving different surveillance systems for other infectious diseases.

The three-day conference gathered insight and feedback from almost 150 participants through breakout sessions for (1) the final review of the RITM Manual for Specimen Collection, Transport, and Referral during Infectious Diseases Outbreak Response, and for (2) the development of the manual’s training module.

Serving as an open dialogue between SRU and its stakeholders, the breakout sessions were effective in gathering remarks that will further improve and develop the usability of the manual for its end-users.

With funding from ASEAN CANADA GPP and USA-Health Security Partners, RITM-SRU expects the manual to be rolled out by the end of the year 2017.

Representatives from the different National Reference Laboratories within RITM, Epidemiology Bureau, Disease Prevention and Control Bureau, Department of Agriculture, Philippine National Police, various Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Units and City Epidemiology and Surveillance Units, some DOH retained hospitals, subnational laboratories, and private hospitals participated in the meeting.

The RITM SRU was created to integrate, coordinate, and report clinical and laboratory surveillance data generated by the Institute which could be helpful for epidemiological modelling and studies on various infectious diseases for early warning and impact reduction.

by Allenor Enciso