RITM turns over portable outbreak kits to regions

RITM Director Socorro P. Lupisan (left) hands over the cary-blair transport media and yellow-top tubes to DOH Region IV-A Regional Director Dr. Eduardo C. Janairo (middle) and RESU IV-A Head John Bobbie S. Roca (right) to symbolize that proper collection of samples should be observed to ensure quality of results.

The Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM), through the “Strengthening Response Capabilities for Emerging and Re-emerging Diseases” project with the ASEAN-Canada Global Partnership Program, turns over portable kits for outbreak investigation to epidemiology and surveillance units across the country. The ceremony was held on August 29, 2018 at the RITM Auditorium.
Through one of the components of the project, RITM aims to improve outbreak investigation through the provision of the portable laboratory kits. The portable kits will ensure proper collection, packaging, and transport; guarantee biosafety practices in the field; and, enhance data collection and reporting of outbreak.

“We want to make sure that our partners in the regions are able to collect samples in the field safely and correctly. We are going full circle now – this is part of our preparedness plan,” explained RITM Director Socorro P. Lupisan.

The portable kits for outbreak investigation will be distributed to all 17 Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Units (RESUs) in the country, and Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP) of the DOH Epidemiology Bureau.

Likewise, Embassy of Canada Political Counsellor Warren Mucci expressed his delight and pride towards the project, “shared commitment to global health and security… has enhanced RITM’s capacity to better prevent, detect, and respond to emerging outbreaks.”

Portable Kits for Outbreak Investigation
The kits are based on the World Health Organization list of supplies and materials during outbreak investigation. It is composed of specimen collection supplies, field supplies, field test kits, forms and reference documents, and selected entomological equipment.

According to Rowena Capistrano of the RITM Surveillance and Response Unit, the portable kits would enhance the response capacity of the National and Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Units. Capistrano stressed that “even if we have epidemiologists on the ground, if they don’t have the proper tools for outbreak investigation, half of the work cannot be completed.”

With the fulfilment of the provision of the portable kits for outbreak investigation, RITM continues its role in safeguarding the health of the nation.

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