‘SCIENCE FOR THE PEOPLE’: Forum highlights impact of health research on public

University of the Philippines (UP) Visayas Professor Kezzie Lyn B. Hilado presents her research, “Assessing Health and Behaviour During the COVID-19 Pandemic Outbreak and Community Quarantine in the Population of Western Visayas” during the 2022 Health Research Utilization Forum on Tuesday, Oct 25, 2022 at Go Hotel in Iloilo City. (John Noel E. Herrera)

By John Noel E. Herrera

The Western Visayas Health Research and Development Consortium (WVHRDC) held the Health Research Utilization Forum on Tuesday, Oct 25, 2022 to highlight the impact of science and health-related researches to society and people’s lives.

“Health Research Utilization transcends the dissemination of knowledge in research forums as it is concerned with the emphasis on the impact and implications of research on society and on the lives of people. Scientific knowledge, thus, must be translated and move further for it to be applicable and addressed health inequities in the region,” WVHRDC said.

WVHRDC added that the forum would boost the implementation of Universal Health Care and “ensure that our constituents are granted equitable access to high quality, readily available, inclusive, and affordable health care services.”

The forum also aimed to improve human health and health policy making that will influence evidence-based healthcare reform and programs.

“It is now our responsibility to ensure that this evidence-based knowledge data are not underutilized and that the knowledge reaches the people who need it the most,” it added

The event at Go Hotel in Iloilo City also presented three research studies that featured different health matters and knowledge.


University of the Philippines (UP) Visayas Professor Kezzie Lyn B. Hilado presented her research, “Assessing Health and Behaviour During the COVID-19 Pandemic Outbreak and Community Quarantine in the Population of Western Visayas.”

Hilado explained that the research was about understanding the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the general population, which can help “in reducing the current and future potential health consequences and can help guide future responses to similar threats and disruptions.”

Her study showed that out of 629 survey participants, 76 percent believed that they had no or less than 50 percent chance of being infected with COVID-19, while the participants also demonstrated high knowledge of the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and the appropriate practices.

It was also revealed that they mostly based their information on Facebook, TV news, and online local news outlets, while their “completely trusted” sources of information were the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Department of Health (DOH).

The study also revealed that the pandemic posed additional challenges and caused stress, worry, and concerns and it was conducted to gain insights into the experience, coping, and perception of the future general population in the region.

Dr. Alice Joan G. Ferrer of UP Visayas also presented the research on “Assessing Funded Health Researches in Region VI” which aimed to assess the funded health research projects in the region and the importance of health and development research programs that can improve health outcomes and save lives.

The research also revealed that most of the health research in the region was dominated by small-budgeted and limited coverage applied health research programs conducted in less than a year by one or two researchers.

The results also provided poor technical quality of research reports as it is needed to continue and strengthen the capacity building for research in the region.

On the other hand, Patrick Joseph Jalandoni of the Medical City Iloilo presented his research, “Ultrastructural and Biophysical Characterization on Commonly-used Alternative Textiles for Hazmat Suits and Facemasks.”

His study was conducted to determine the suitability and effectivity of textile products being used as alternative face masks.

Twenty fabrics was investigated through the use of a Scanning Electron Microscope to determine the “filtration capacity, and breathability of locally available alternative fabrics used for the production of hazmat suits and facemasks.”

The study revealed that a single-layered fabric can only filter as low as 22.4 percent up to as high as 40.57 percent of micro particles, lower compared to 90 to 97 percent when using surgical masks.

The study also implied that while society struggles with medical and other waste like disposable masks, and is trying to replace them with other alternatives, it is still the safest to use medical masks.

Meanwhile, WVHRDC said that all the researches presented “are not only informative, but mostly beneficial and relevant to achieving the Universal Healthcare in the region.

Department of Science and Technology (DOST)-6 Regional Director Rowen G. Gelonga also emphasized that researchers should not just be presented but applied as “sometimes it is unfortunate that we seem to focus only on research and development activities and creation of new knowledge.”

“As researchers, we sometimes fail to internalize the reason why we are creating knowledge. Sometimes we do not put to heart that science is intended to benefit the people, that is why these knowledge, technologies and innovations should be utilize in order to address public welfare and enhance economic development,” he added.