Malayan Colleges Mindanao set to advance Davao's Covid-19 response

AS IT spans at an increasing rate, Covid-19 has upended mobility, caused strains in the economy, and overburdened the health sector. The lingering threat of Covid-19 challenges our health system, demanding urgency for a coordinated and innovative response from different sectors in the region.

Malayan Colleges Mindanao (MCM), through the Office for Research, Development, and Innovation (ORDI), has been working with a pool of experts in Davao City to develop solutions and strategies that can effectively manage risks associated with Covid-19.

Project RESILIEMC (also, Risk management and Enhanced Survival analysis Integrated through Longitudinal Infectious disease data and statistical Epidemiological Model using Clinical risk factors) is a DOST-funded initiative spearheaded by Dr. Gernelyn T. Logrosa, head of MCM ORDI; and partnered with the University of the Philippines Mindanao (UP Mindanao), Davao Medical School Foundation (DMSF), Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC), and Davao Regional Medical Center (DRMC).

The collaborative research intends to address the impact of Covid-19 in Mindanao by utilizing multi-model analysis.

RESILIEMC researchers - Dr. Logrosa; Prof. Leo Manuel B. Estaña, UP Mindanao; Dr. Pedro A. Alviola IV, UP Mindanao; Dr. Genevieve Dable-Tupas, DMSF - deem it necessary to generate site-specific interventions appropriate for every region in Mindanao by conceptualizing clinical risk factors and survivability factors.

"There has been no policy intervention yet that sufficiently reduced the probability of contracting Covid-19, reduced the likelihood of fatalities, and produced satisfactory results. Even the deployment of vaccines can generate new risks that need to be accounted for. There is a need to identify appropriate strategies and interventions that can serve Mindanao," Dr. Logrosa emphasized during the research presentation via Zoom video conference.

Through the Health Decision Support System (DSS), said project plans to produce health risk maps suggesting a hierarchy of control which may be employed by Local Government Units (LGUs) in the implementation of health-related policies. The health risk maps will be based on clinical risk information from hospitals and from the Department of Health (DOH).

Initial diagnostics of suspected Covid-19 positive patients will be analyzed by making use of risk management tools, statistical methods, and decision theory to assess the impact of person mobility in contracting and dying from Covid-19. Other risk factors will be further

validated by the recently approved Center for Applied Modeling, Data Analytics, and Bioinformatics for Decision-Support Systems in Health (AMBDABiDSS-Health) of UP Mindanao.

MCM will be at the forefront of building the Health DSS Satellite to set the project in motion and facilitate the collaborative research activities forthwith.

RESILIEMC envisions an efficient and robust Health DSS platform to cater to its partner hospitals, SPMC and DRMC. Data privacy and security are at the utmost consideration in the creation of Health DSS.

"Through the Health DSS platform, the project intends to equip the front-liners, train the trainers, manage residual risks, and continue to sustain the health initiative with academic mentorship," Dr. Logrosa said.

Interested mentors and select MCM students will train through their research theses.

Capacity building workshops will equip participants with necessary research aptitudes and develop an awareness of the crisis at hand.

"I am sure that the RESILIEMC project will bear a lot of fruit for Davao Region, for our institutions, and for the partners. Rest assured that MCM will bring its resources to bear on and commit to the success of the project together with its partners," Dr. Reynaldo B. Vea, Mapúa president and chief executive officer, expressed his support on behalf of MCM.

Engr. Dodjie S. Maestrecampo, MCM Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, pledged to the project in the interest of public health security, saying, "As part of its mission of doing research, MCM will be very pleased to assist the researchers especially on the application of its expertise in engineering. To be able to deliver and help the community will be the best thing that can happen from the research."

The project does not only plan to tackle Covid-19; it also aims to encompass other health-related emergencies. Dr. Logrosa calls for cooperation among different sectors in Mindanao to work through the same initiative as the researchers explore opportunities throughout project completion.

A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) has recently been signed among the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD), and MCM, underscoring a shared effort to ensure health security and recovery from the pandemic. The MOA will leverage each party's comparative advantage to develop the health system in Mindanao.

"Risk Management of Covid-19 Spread in Davao City using Multi-Model Analysis to Optimize Interventions and Decision-Making," stated a related paper presented by Dr. Logrosa at the 3rd Madayaw International Multidisciplinary Research Conference in October 2020. It is co-authored by Prof. Leo Manuel B. Estaña and Dr. May Anne E. Mata, Associate Professors from the Department of Mathematics, Physics, and Computer Science of UP Mindanao.

RESILIEMC is a project under the Applied Modeling, Data Analysis, and Bioinformatics for Decision Support Systems in Health (AMDABiDSS-Health) program led by Dr. May Anne E. Mata of UP Mindanao. (PR)


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