PHILIPPINE Genome Center (PGC) Mindanao in UP Mindanao embarks on a new research partnership designed to develop solutions and strategies to primary health problems of women and children in Mindanao.

Spearheaded by the Davao Medical School Foundation Inc. (DMSFI), the Research and Development Center for Maternal and Child Health (ReDMaTCH) Program aims to address major health problems among women and children in Mindanao, including childhood stunting, pediatric dengue, and postpartum depression.

The program aims to understand these major problems through metabolomics, microbiome studies, metagenomics, and bioinformatics analysis. Dr. Genevieve Tupas, ReDMaTCH program leader said that the program was conceptualized because of the inequality of healthcare delivery among women and children, particularly in Mindanao as compared to Manila.

Too many women, infants, and children worldwide still have little or no access to essential, quality health services and education, clean air and water, and adequate sanitation and nutrition. The research collaboration between DMSFI and PGC Mindanao in UP Mindanao gives an opportunity to end preventable deaths among women, children, and adolescents and to greatly improve their health and well-being.

In a message by PGCMin Program Director, Dr. Joel Hassan Tolentino, delivered by PGCMin technical expert, Dr. Aleyla de Cadiz, Dr. Tolentino expressed his excitement to provide the center’s expertise and state-of-the-art facility for the implementation of the program. “We would like to bring about more opportunities and advancements for the people in Mindanao, specifically women, and children”.

PGC Mindanao will provide training, consultation services, genomics-related laboratory services, and PGCMin facility use inside the College of Science and Mathematics, UP Mindanao.

UP Mindanao Chancellor, Dr. Lyre Anni Murao is thrilled to enter a close research partnership established between the university and a medical and university institution. “Through our collaborative work, we hope to contribute to the advancement of science and technology in Mindanao and ultimately create a brighter future for Mindanaoans.”

The RedMaTCH program proposal was first crafted in 2020 with the help of PGC Mindanao which served as a technical consultant during the development stage of the proposal. In 2022, the ReDMaTCH program was granted P75 million in research and development funding from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and became one of the 26 Niche Centers in the Regions for Research and Development (NICER) centers in the country supported by the DOST-Science for Change Program (S4CP).