For this year’s funding, the Caraga Health Research and Development Consortium’s (CHRDC) Technical Review Board (TRB) evaluates research proposals submitted by the Caraga State University via online. The research entitled, “Understanding COVID-19 Pandemic Situations in the Philippines through Epidemiological Models and Resiliency Studies 2020 (UnCOVER PH 2020)” to be implemented by Asst. Prof. Karen B. Burdeos and her team aim to understand the COVID-19 pandemic situation through flu resiliency and other flu-related diseases assessment including an assessment to psychological, social (socio-economic), and institutional capacity to address COVID-19 impacts.
The TRB headed by Dr. Gerna M. Manatad of DOH CHD – Caraga, deliberately provided inputs on how the program’s objective be efficiently translated given the existing limitations brought by the current COVID-19 situation. External reviewer Dr. Fresthel Monica Climacosa, Associate Professor from the Department of Medical Microbiology, University of the Philippines Manila, provided ethical details as well as on how to safeguard data confidentiality from the potential respondents. Dr. Climacosa suggested that the researchers should provide detailed limitations for each of the projects covered by the program. Further, the researchers should acknowledge these limitations and consider including these limitations during the detailed analysis. Dr. Derick Erl. P. Sumalapao of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, UP Manila suggested that the complete information on the protocols used underlying the proposed research should be clearly defined. He added that researchers should come up with a localized regional model and compare this to the parameters set by the national COVID-19 model.
The project leaders under the proposed program were given ample time to explain how each project will provide a reliable output thereby utilizing as baseline information on preparedness, precautionary measures, and policy formulation for possible flu-related outbreaks in the future. At the end of the discussion, Dr. Manatad expressed her appreciation especially to this new modality in proposal evaluation.