UP’s “Stop COVID Deaths” webinar celebrates 2nd anniversary

| Written by Deina Blancaflor

When COVID-19 hit, it left nations scrambling in the dark. No one knew what the new viral disease was, how fast it spread, and how deadly it could be.

As an immediate response, the University of the Philippines (UP), in partnership with UP Manila National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Telehealth Center, and in cooperation with UP Philippine General Hospital (PGH), launched the “Stop COVID Deaths” webinar series. The series is the Philippines’ first and only frontline-focused medical webinar series, which pioneered the discussion, dissemination, and adoption of knowledge on COVID-19 treatment and management.

This Friday, April 22, from 12 pm to 2 pm, the university celebrates the pioneering series’ second anniversary. The special episode, titled “Giting at Tapang sa Panahon ng Pandemya: Reflecting on COVID-19 Lessons,” will reflect on these two long years full of ups and downs.

What has the pandemic highlighted, and what did we learn from it? Did our health services become better organized? Did we find ways of financing the tremendous demands on goods and services? Did we train our doctors and nurses well during the pandemic? Were we able to turn this crisis into an opportunity to create reforms in health care systems?

The special episode will feature a roundtable discussion among four leaders who exemplified restraint and commitment at the height of the pandemic. They are front-liners, patients, and researchers who will share their learnings, innovations, and stories that inspired them to persevere and inspire others.

Dr. Albert Francis E. Domingo, recently appointed as Concurrent Director III of the Department of Health (DOH) Communication Office and Disease Prevention and Control Bureau, comes with the perspective of the generation on deck—the next cohort of leaders who took to the field and worked with local governments to organize the country’s COVID-19 response on the ground.

National Scientist Dr. Ernesto Domingo, who first organized the Universal Health Care (UHC) study group in 2008, will reflect on the past 12 years after conceptualizing this policy shift.

Dr. Gerardo ‘Gap’ Legaspi, UP-PGH Director, led the transformation of the UP-PGH into a COVID-19 referral center. At the height of the pandemic, he contracted COVID more than once, rescued people and equipment during a fire, and organized and reorganized the UP-PGH wards during three surges—he will talk about an elegant and simple way to organize healthcare delivery services beyond the pandemic.

Dr. Charlotte M. Chiong, Dean of the UP College of Medicine who brought vision and outside-the-box administrative interventions, will also share her insights on the mental health of doctors-in-training during the pandemic.

Dr. Teodoro J. Herbosa, National Adviser of the COVID-19 Response Task Force, will deliver the opening remarks. He will reflect on the national response, its challenges, pitfalls, and the approaches that worked as we move forward.

Finally, UP Manila Chancellor Dr. Carmencita D. Padilla will deliver the synthesis, and closing remarks, whose invaluable support and unwavering commitment to the webinar cemented its success.

The webinar also aims to commemorate all our front-liner heroes who have fallen during this pandemic, whose sacrifices have enabled the country to persevere during the darkest times.

To join us in this celebration and reflection on lessons learned and recommendations for moving forward, register at bit.ly/StopCOVIDDeathsWebinar96.

Audiences may also catch our weekly live tweets and streams through the UP System Twitter Account and TVUP’s YouTube channel and Facebook page.