PASAY CITY, Metro Manila- In the recent “Rallying Communicators for Science, Technology, and Innovation in Health” pre-conference session of the 11th Philippine National Health Research System (PNHRS), communication expert Dr. Clarissa David talked about ways to communicate health research and engage the public.
Dr. Clarissa David, a professor from the University of the Philippines (UP) College of Mass Communication, said that health communication is already an established and prominent field of work as it concerns everyone. Here are some notes from Dr. David to reach the public, communicate effectively, and make an impact.
Two objectives: individual behavioral change and “health issue public”
You should identify priority audiences and create appealing messages for these audiences. Make special segments with specific interest in health, find listeners of health research, and convene them in a channel.
The media are your conduit
Media are your only mass-market channel to general public. Talking to them means talking to the public as well.
Ask yourself: Whose role is it?
Take some time to ask what your real objectives are and the roles everyone should play. Can you do the communication work? Is there someone better equipped to do the task? How can you support and work with them?
Study and know your audience
Remember that communication is audience-oriented. Not everyone can be your audience. You should identify key audiences and craft strategy and message to reach them.
Content is king
You should create your main message and establish channels to bring your audiences. Remember that you don’t need to explain the whole research paper as most of them are not interested.
Define your voice
Think strategically of the kind of identity you want to take on. Remember that identity and voice are important to audiences.
Sustain public engagement in health systems research
You should create and maintain a community of practice in the health research system. Share best practices through conventions and fora. Gather participation from communication practitioners and scholars in private sectors, media, and academe.
PNHRS is a gathering of different stakeholders in health research and development to contribute research-based solutions to health problems. The 11th PNHRS Week was held on 22-23 August 2017.
PASAY CITY, Metro Manila- To further improve their strategies on research utilization, the regional consortia of the Philippine National Health Research System (PNHRS) gathered yesterday in a session at Hotel Jen Manila.
The session entitled “Rallying Communicators for Science, Technology, and Innovation in Health” aims to gather members for the Society of Health Research Communicators (SHARE), a new program of the System to ensure that research contributes to evidence-informed health policies and actions.
SHARE is a community of communicators who share health research stories, advocacies, and local and national initiatives. The community will reinforce the research dissemination activities of the regional consortia of PNHRS.
The first part of the session was allotted for discussions wherein three communication and health research experts were invited to guide the participants namely Dr. Clarissa David of the University of the Philippines (UP) College of Mass Communication, Dr. Mary Ann Lansang of the UP College of Medicine, and Dr. Iris Thiele Isip-Tan of the UP Manila Medical Informatics Unit.
In the afternoon, members of the regional consortia engaged in a discussion to form, gather, and sustain the SHARE community.
In her welcome remarks, Ms. Merlita Opeña, Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) Division Chief, stressed that research utilization is an important process in the Philippine National Health Research System (PNHRS).
“I would like to emphasize that research utilization focuses on the impact or benefit of knowledge to our stakeholders. It is about what the people will gain from the research result or how they will make use of the knowledge or information.” Ms. Opeña explained.
The “Rallying Communicators for Science, Technology, and Innovation in Health” is part of the 11th Philippine National Health Research System (PNHRS) Week celebration. PCHRD is the lead coordinator of the System.
PASAY CITY, Metro Manila- The country’s health research community, headed by the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD), will celebrate the 11th Philippine National Health Research System (PNHRS) Week on 24-25 August 2017 at Philippine International Convention Center.
The celebration is a gathering of different stakeholders in health research and development to contribute research-based solutions to health problems.
With the theme “Research and Innovations in Health: Empowering and Transforming Communities,” this year’s celebration will highlight the roles, challenges, and opportunities of health research and innovation in reaching, empowering, and transforming the marginalized Filipino communities.
Parallel and plenary sessions will revolve around key areas including Drug Addiction and Mental Health, Wealth and Wellness, Psychosocial and Health Concerns of Internally Displaced Persons, Assessment of the Philippine Health Sector Performance, and National Unified Health Research Agenda (NUHRA).
Pre-conference sessions such as Ethics, Society of Health Research Communicators (SHARE) Assembly, Journal Publishing, Meeting of the Regional Health Research and Development Consortia Secretariat, and Health Research and Development for Disaster Program Review will also be held on 22 August 2017 at Hotel Jen Manila.
A small green sponge discovered in dark, icy waters of the Pacific off Alaska could be the first effective weapon against pancreatic cancer, researchers said Wednesday.
Pancreatic cancer, with particularly aggressive tumors, is notoriously difficult to treat.
A small green sponge, photographed by an ROV camera, seen in the waters off the coast of Alaska. (AFP / MANILA BULLETIN)
“One would never have imagined looking at this sponge that it could be miraculous,” Bob Stone, a researcher at the NOAA Alaska Fisheries Science Center, said in a briefing by phone.
Stone discovered the sponge, dull in color, called “Latrunculia austini” in 2005 while on a seabed exploration expedition in Alaska.
It lives on rocks in patches at depths of 230-720 feet (70-219m).
Lab testing has shown that several molecules in this sponge selectively destroy pancreatic cancer cells, said Mark Hamann, a University of South Carolina researcher working with Fred Valeriote of the Henry Ford Cancer Institute in Detroit.
“This is undoubtedly the most active molecule against pancreatic cancer that we see,” said Hamann. “Although there is still much work to be done, it marks the first key step in the discovery and process of developing a treatment,” he said.
Pancreatic cancer progresses slowly, a circumstance which leaves patients in a tough position as late diagnosis means little chance for successful treatment.
Patients’ chances of survival at five years for this tumor are only 14%, according to the American Cancer Society.
“I’ve looked at 5,000 sponge extracts over the last two decades,” Valeriote said. “In terms of this particular pattern of pancreatic and ovarian cancer selective activity, we’ve only seen one (other) sponge with such activity, and that was one collected many years ago in Indonesia.”
In the United States, 53,670 new cases of pancreatic cancer will be diagnosed in 2017 and more than 43,000 people will die.
British disease experts on Thursday suggested doing away with the “incorrect” advice to always finish a course of antibiotics, saying the approach was fueling the spread of drug resistance.
Rather than stopping antibiotics too early, the cause of resistance was “unnecessary” drug use, a team wrote in The BMJ medical journal.
(AFP / MANILA BULLETIN)
“We encourage policy makers, educators and doctors to stop advocating ‘complete the course’ when communicating with the public,” wrote the team, led by infectious diseases expert Martin Llewelyn of the Brighton and Sussex Medical School.
“Further, they should publicly and actively state that this was not evidence-based and is incorrect.”
The team said further research is needed to work out the best alternative guidelines, but “patients might be best advised to stop treatment when they feel better.”
The UN’s World Health Organization says that if treatment is stopped early, there is a risk that antibiotics would not have killed all the disease-causing bacteria, which can mutate and become resistant to the treatment.
It advises patients to “take the full prescription” given by their doctor.
The US Food and Drug Administration, too, advises taking “the full course of the drug”.
But the new paper, which analysed established links between treatment duration and effectiveness, and drug resistance, said there was no evidence for the idea that shorter treatment is inferior, or will trigger antibiotic resistance.
“When a patient takes antibiotics for any reason, antibiotic sensitive species and strains among (microorganisms) on their skin or gut or in the environment are replaced by resistant species and strains ready to cause infection in the future,” the team explained.
The longer the antibiotic exposure, the bigger the foothold resistant species will gain. These resistant strains can be transmitted directly between people who have no symptoms of illness.
Yet the idea of completing an antibiotics course is “deeply embedded” in both doctors and patients, said the team.
Experts not involved in the analysis welcomed its conclusions.
Prescriptions ‘need to change’
In comments via the Science Media Centre in London, Peter Openshaw, president of the British Society for Immunology, agreed that shortening antibiotics courses may help tackle the resistance problem.
“It could be that antibiotics should be used only to reduce the bacterial burden to a level that can be coped with by the person’s own immune system,” he said.
There are, however, cases which call for extended treatment courses — when a patient has a compromised immune system, for example, or if the bacteria is a slow-growing kind or can lie dormant before striking, such as tuberculosis.
“It is very clear that prescribing practices do need to change,” added Mark Woolhouse, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Edinburgh.
“Current volumes of antibiotic usage are too high to be sustainable.”