July 14, 2021

Pinoy experts have made significant contributions to HIV and tuberculosis research, according to Fauci

Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the United States (US) Anthony Fauci acknowledged the importance of research and collaboration between the Philippines and the US on Tuesday, praising Filipino scientists’ efforts in the global fight against HIV and tuberculosis (TB).

During the National Academy of Science and Technology’s (NAST) annual scientific meeting, Fauci said, “Talented Filipino scientists participated in multiple AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) clinical research networks that have advanced the global understanding of HIV prevention, treatment, and care.”

“Filipino experts have paved the way in the study of tuberculosis, especially multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. He went on to say that the work done in the Regional Prospective Observational Research on Tuberculosis has been very significant and promising.

The Philippines “is likely to make major contributions in the battle against TB,” Fauci said, citing continued assistance from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

The infectious disease specialist expressed his optimism that Philippine educational institutions would continue to get government assistance in order to stay competitive.

“Given its track record, I view the Philippines increasing its scientific position in the Asia Pacific Region as having tremendous value,” he added.

He claims that Philippine institutions play a critical role in malaria and dengue research.

“One of the most significant lessons we learned from the Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic is that continuous biomedical research is critical to global well-being,” he added, citing the successful discovery of efficient vaccinations against SARS-CoV-2.

Biomedical research is critical for pandemic preparation and efficient epidemic response, according to Fauci.

Meanwhile, DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Pea highlighted the need for scientists in reducing Covid-19’s effects.

“Today’s emergency health situation has highlighted Filipino scientists’ and researchers’ skills and creativity in developing quick and creative solutions to Covid 19 and mitigating its effects,” de la Pea added.

Local researchers, he added, have created an RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) test kit, as well as ventilators, PPE, and a travel management system.

“All of this has been made possible by increased financing, upskilling of S&T human resources, and innovation from our own researchers, scientists, and engineers, as well as enhanced cooperation with global and regional partners,” he added.

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