By Jennylou Canon

Atom Pinoy kicks off the 2021 Philippine Science Communication Festival (PSCF) with its first session entitled SHIFTING STATES: Stories of Disease Spread and Statistics.

Held last Saturday, December 4, 2021 via Zoom Conference and Facebook Live, PSCF’s first session showcased the wits of the speakers in explaining how a certain disease’s growth and trends are predicted.

Opening the first talk of the session was Mr. Miko Balisi, a public health and development researcher who is also a part of the Department of Health’s (DOH) COVID-19 Monitoring Epidemiology Bureau. 

Balisi discussed how the health data of each individual is stored and managed, and the system used for the data to be processed. Furthermore, Balisi discussed data points and the silo and devolve system that Public Health uses.

Moreover, he also explained data stewardship and the roles that a data steward fulfills in order for data to be governed well. According to Balisi, one of the roles a data steward possesses is knowing what and how data is being used.

Moving on to the second talk, Dr. Carlo Irwin Panelo, a health economist from the University of the Philippines-Manila, discussed health economics. The content of his talk focused on how the trends and graphs of a specific disease can show the vulnerabilities of the health sector’s response.

Dr. Panelo focused on the data and analytics of certain disease trends that have happened in the country as well as the demographics of those trends. He also discussed the struggles and issues that the health system is currently facing in terms of health economics.

Ending the discussions of the PSCF’s first session is Dr. John Robert Medina, a health science researcher from University of the Philippines-Manila. His talk focused on his journey towards his career field, as well as his research and advocacy.

Dr. Medina talked about his research on Dengue as he had previously studied the Zika Virus during his education period in Japan. His research also showed how Dengue surveillance works in the country.

The PSCF was launched with the theme LUNAS: Yugto sa Pangkalahatang Pagpayagpag Tungong Makasamang Pampublikong Kalusugan and will be held from December 3, 2021 until December 12, 2021.