ASMPH awarded Newton Fund grant to conduct workshop on Universal Health Care

Left to right: Amihan Perez, A-HEALS Administrative Officer Dr Caroline Mae Ramirez, A-HEALS Public Health Leadership Fellow Dr Jeremie de Guzman, A-HEALS Public Health Leadership Fellow Dr Manuel Dayrit, A-HEALS Executive Director and ASMPH Dean Dr Armand Guidote, former Loyola Schools Associate Dean for Research and Creative Work Dr Celso Pagatpatan, A-HEALS Public Health Leadership Fellow Dr Harvy Joy Liwanag, A-HEALS Public Health Leadership Fellow







The Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health (ASMPH) through the Ateneo Center for Health Evidence, Action and Leadership (A-HEALS) has received a grant from United Kingdom’s Newton Fund to lead a workshop in assessing the Philippine progress on Universal Health Care (UHC).

“The Newton Fund Research Links Workshop Grant gives us an opportunity to conduct a workshop for 30 young Filipino and British researchers in public health in January 2016 to examine UHC in the Philippines and consequently identify remaining gaps and potential future collaborative research work to address these gaps,” says Dr. Harvy Joy Liwanag, deputy project leader. He is also a Public Health Leadership Fellow at A-HEALS.

A-HEALS, a consortium of 8 Ateneo schools, is the university’s health hub aimed at contributing to public health interventions. The grant, Liwanag says, is a “milestone for ASMPH and A-HEALS.”

“The grant will allow us to examine our country’s progress towards the goal of UHC which we believe is significant as the term of the current administration is ending and the priorities for the succeeding years will likewise have to be determined. The approval of this grant indicates that we have the potential to play a major role as academic institutions in contributing to efforts to provide health in the Philippines through building capacity in research and collaborating with others,” he says. 

The grant will pave the way for ASMPH to work with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Oxford University.

Liwanag adds that ASMPH Dean Manuel Dayrit will lead the team in workshop preparation, which includes a review of all studies on UHC that are funded by the Department of Health. Liwanag says this step is crucial in assessing the status quo of UHC in the country.

“By making a systematic and comprehensive assessment of all these studies, we hope to provide an exercise for the young researchers to build their capacity and likewise explore opportunities to develop collaborative research proposal to address the gaps identified in the assessment,” he says.

Launched in 2014, the Newton Fund is part of the British government’s development assistance programs in fostering research and development partnerships with developing countries.