• Posted on: 30 September 2020

Two recently launched webinars showcased studies from the UP Population Institute (UPPI) on the COVID-19 pandemic in the context of the Philippine population. Dr. Maria Midea M. Kabamalan, Professor of Demography in the UP Population Institute (UPPI), presented the highlights of the research briefs published by UPPI and the Demographic Research and Development Foundation (DRDF) during the 18th National Health Research Forum for Action (NHRFA) webinar and Dr. Grace T. Cruz, Director of UPPI, presented findings from the 2018 Longitudinal Study of Ageing and Health in the Philippines (LSAHP) examining the impact of the pandemic on older Filipinos in a webinar series organized by the Metro Manila Health Research and Development Consortium (MMHRDC).

With the theme “Realizing Universal Health Care Amidst a Pandemic”, the 18th NHRFA was launched in 08 September 2020 by the Department of Health (DOH) to serve as an online platform for evidence and knowledge dissemination as well as policy translation in support of Universal Health Care. The webinar was attended by a convergence of experts from various fields of health research. The sessions are expected to run until November of this year.

Dr. Kabamalan’s presentation, entitled “Beyond the Numbers: COVID-19, the Philippine Population, and Policy”, is part of Session 1 focusing on Transparent Governance and Accountability in the face of COVID-19. Her presentation featured data from DOH’s Data Drop, data collected by the Philippine Statistics Authority, and other data collected by UPPI and DRDF in recent years. She emphasized the importance of good quality data so that researchers have a better grasp of the impact of the pandemic on the Philippine population and can serve more informed input for policy.

Dr. Cruz’s presentation “The Older Filipinos and COVID-19” generated much interest from various experts and stakeholders who attended the webinar “The Road to Super Seniors: The Science of Ageing” on 19 September 2020. The webinar is the second in a series conducted by the MMHRDC. As stressed by Dr. Cruz during her presentation, the effects of COVID-19 are anticipated to exacerbate health and economic conditions that have challenged older Filipinos even before the pandemic.