By J. Jala | 11:21 AM January 22, 2022
The Department of Health (DOH), through the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) and with the support of the World Health Organization (WHO), is establishing seven subnational laboratories (SNL) for the detection of vaccine-preventable diseases in the country.
The seven regional health facilities tagged as SNLs are Ilocos Training and Regional Medical Center, Jose B. Lingad Memorial Regional Hospital, Western Visayas Medical Center, Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center, Zamboanga City Medical Center, Southern Philippines Medical Center and Cotabato Regional and Medical Center.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has provided over PHP36 million worth of laboratory equipment and supplies.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III received the donations in a turnover ceremony Thursday at the DOH.
The laboratories will serve as confirmatory testing hubs for common vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles, rubella, rotavirus disease, and Japanese encephalitis.
The RITM is setting up essential equipment and will train staff at the SNLs in the coming months.
The health agency also said that it would establish quality control and assurance measures in preparation for WHO laboratory accreditation.