There is a relevant amount of clamor for the government and the healthcare sector to both radically and fundamentally change the state of the Philippine healthcare. In respect to this, the Philippine National Health Research System, with its mission on generating and using knowledge, innovation, technology, products and services in promoting the health and well-being of every Filipino, seeks to ensure that investments in health research yield the most benefit. Health innovations especially in the consortia level, plays a significant role in addressing issues related to the realization of health research priorities in all the regions.
In this year’s Caraga Health Research Forum, health innovations from leading researchers in the Philippines especially in Caraga was being showcased. The Biotek M Dengue Detection Kit, invented by Dr. Raul V. Destura of University of the Philippines Diliman and the Allen Stick, a portable anthropometric measuring tool invented by Dr. Allen Salvatierra from the Municipal Health Office of Trento, Agusan del Sur, were being highlighted in the forum’s session on Health Innovation Journeys. Ms. Ma. Jowina H. Galarion from the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology – National Institute of Health, UP Manila, presented the technology behind the Biotek M. The device is basically a diagnostic kit which acts as a confirmatory test for diagnosis of dengue infection in the first 0-5 days of illness, and results would be known in an hour or less. Designed to be used in hospitals or clinics with minimal laboratory facilities, using Biotek M would mean less admissions for dengue-suspected cases, therefore saving resources for both hospital and patients. The test is as efficient but is less costly than the currently available PCR technology used in dengue detection.
Dr. Allen R. Salvatierra, the inventor himself of the Allen Stick, also discussed in the forum the science behind the portable anthropometric measuring tool. The innovation was designed to help the health workers take anthropometric measurements of children even in geographically disadvantaged areas. The advantages compared with the conventional height board is that it is simple and easy to use by health workers and volunteers, easily adjustable, convenient to transport, safe to use, durable and rust proof, less measuring time involved, and most especially child-friendly.
The two inventions are now currently being utilized by a number of regions in the country with continuous support of research and development agencies namely the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). The CHRDC, with one of its goals in promoting utilization of health research and development findings in the region, will continue to showcase health innovations produced by local researchers and inventors for the benefit of the community, especially among Caraganons.