The COVID-19 pandemic has shocked us all around the globe when we first learned about the disease that led to the closing of borders among countries, cities, provinces, and even barangays. It disrupted daily work and lives, it threatened humanity, tested the ability of our healthcare workers to fight the ghost like disease and tested our leaders’ capability to protect its people. It forced every people to conform to the so called “new normal” – staying at home, practising physical distancing, wearing of face mask, washing hands frequently and among others.
As a health research and development consortium which is task to facilitate global, national and local health needs by means of generating new and innovating existing knowledge, this pandemic will not hold nor stop the R1HRDCs operations.
Through the technical review board, which oversees and monitors the development and implementation of all research projects, the consortium was able to fund 2 research projects this year despite the COVID-19 menace. First, is the research project entitled “Assessment of Organizational Cultures Health Workforce in DOH-Retained Hospitals in Region 1” by Dr. Marvin T. Munar of Ilocos Training and Regional Medical Center, San Fernando City, La Union. The second research was entitled “Hearing Screening Protocol among Pupils with Special Healthcare Needs in Ilocos Norte” by Dr. Joy Alvarez of Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital and Medical Center, Batac City, Ilocos Norte. In addition, the TRB also reviewed research proposals for possible funding earlier this year.
In a welcome speech of one of the consortia’s meeting, Dr. Maria Lourdes Otayza, R1HRDC Chair, personally described COVID-19. To quote “a mercy in disguise that will try our patience but will help us understand how we have to cope differently in the coming years if we are to survive at all with good health”. With this, the management committee continues to reach its stakeholders and promote health research in the region without compromising the health of the community, but rather promotes wellness above all circumstances.