DOH, RITM to create 7 subnational laboratories
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH), through the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM), will create seven subnational laboratories (SNLs) for the detection of vaccine-preventable diseases (VPDs).
According to the DOH, the World Health Organization (WHO) has provided over P36 million worth of laboratory equipment and supplies for the operation of the SNLs.
The SNLs will serve as confirmatory testing hubs for common vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles, rubella, rotavirus disease, and Japanese encephalitis, the DOH said on Thursday.
The RITM identified the following regional health facilities as SNLs: Ilocos Training and Regional Medical Center, Jose B. Lingad Memorial Regional Hospital, Western Visayas Medical Center, Vicente Sotto Medical Center, Zamboanga Medical Center, Southern Philippines Medical Center, and Cotabato Regional and Medical Center.
“With fluctuating vaccination coverage rates in the last decade, the Philippines, particularly Filipino children, remain at risk for vaccine preventable diseases. This initiative not only gives better tools to care for individual patients, but it also helps to respond more strategically to protect communities,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said in a statement.
The establishment of the SNLs will expand the RITM’s role from being the sole laboratory for the detection of VPDs in the country into leading a national public health laboratory network, according to the health department.