The Caraga Health Research and Development Consortium (CHRDC) participated this year’s Philippine National Health Research System (PNHRS) Week held last August 13-16 in Cagayan de Oro City. With the theme, “Achieving Health-Related Sustainable Development Goals through Research and Innovation”, the conference conducted a handful of plenary sessions and meetings that circled the theme’s relevance. One of the sessions that created an impact among health researchers and health practitioners was entitled, “Progress on Health-Related SDGs: Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and How Research and Innovation Can Contribute”.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was adopted by all United Nations member states in 2015. The agenda provided a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for the people and the planet’s current and future goals. In its core were the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are an urgent call for action by all countries – developed and developing – in a global partnership. Among the SDGs identified by the PNHRS that are Health-Related are SDG 1 (No Poverty), SDG 2 (Zero Hunger), SDG 3 (Good Health and Well Being), SDG 5 (Gender Equality) and SDG 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation).
During the plenary session on Progress on Health-Related SDGs, Ms. Mary Anne E.R. Darauay, Director IV and Social Development Staff of the National Economic and Development Authority, discussed the integration of the SDGs in the Philippine Development Plan (PDP). Dir. Darauay highlighted the integration of SGDs in the sectoral plans which were specifically the Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition and the Philippine Health Agenda/National Objectives for Health. She also presented statistics of the status of the health-related SDGs in the country. These included the birth distribution attended by skilled health personnel, under the age of 5 mortality rate, neonatal mortality rate, infant mortality rate, number of newly diagnosed HIV cases, tuberculosis incidence per 100,100 population, mortality caused by road traffic injury per 100,000 population, proportion of women of the reproductive age (aged 15-49 years) who have their need for family planning satisfied provided with modern methods, contraceptive prevalence in any methods (% of women ages 15-49), prevalence of stunting among children, and the prevalence of overweight among children under the age of 5 (%).
Challenges in the health sector were presented along with its strategies for achieving health-related SDGs. Dr. Jesson Butcon, Technical Officer for health metrics and Research of WHO Philippines, Dr. Cecilia S. Acuin, Senior Scientist for Nutrition of International Rice Research Institute, and Dr. Paul Gideon D. Lasco, Columnist of Philippine Daily Inquirer served as the panel of reactors.