THE decision of the Department of Health (DOH) to establish seven Subnational Laboratories (SNLs), through the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM), should be welcomed by the Filipino people.
RITM is a research health facility based in Muntinlupa City. In 1982, a year after its creation, it began its Acute Respiratory Infection Research Program, which was primarily tasked to look into child pneumonia in the country.
For setting up the seven SNLs in Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao, the people, particularly the poorest of the poor, see a government that is committed to ensure the health and safety of the public.
DOH said the World Health Organization-supported SNLs are mandated to detect vaccine-preventable diseases in the country, whose economy has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Of the seven regional health facilities tagged as SNLs, two are in Luzon. These are the Ilocos Training and Regional Medical Center and Jose B. Lingad Memorial Regional Hospital in Central Luzon.
The others are the Western Visayas Medical Center, Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center, Zamboanga City Medical Center, Southern Philippines Medical Center and Cotabato Regional and Medical Center.
Reports said the WHO, a United Nations (UN) agency, provided some P36 million worth of laboratory equipment and and supplies to make the Subnational Laboratories fully operational.
People share the view of WHO country representative Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe that there’s that crucial need for the Philippines to prepare its health system in the prevention and control of disease outbreaks.
Indeed, government authorities, through concerned offices and agencies, ought to step up its efforts to detect and control of highly-infectious illnesses , such as the deadly coronavirus disease 2019.
It’s a move in the right direction.