Ateneo, UK’s Keele University collaborate on primary health care research
The Ateneo de Manila University and the United Kingdom’s Keele University have joined together in an effort to improve health research in the Philippines.
“Stories of Public Health Through Local Art-based Community Engagement (SOLACE)” was launched as a collaboration among Ateneo’s Loyola Schools, Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health (ASMPH), Keele University and the provincial government of Northern Samar. It is an interdisciplinary research focused on public health initiatives and clinical interventions. It will bring together researchers from different disciplines: medicine, arts and humanities.
Speaking at the launch on January 22, 2018 at Arete’s Eduardo J. Abotiz Sandbox Zone, Dr. Maria Luz Vilches, Vice President for the Loyola Schools expressed excitement in the partnership.
“Solace is about comfort, relief, succor, support and consolation. What is more solace-driven than responding to the call of one of the United Nations Sustainable Goals: ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages. This is what we have to do for this project through the collaborative venture between and among Ateneo de Manila University through the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, the Fine Arts Department, ASMPH, Keele University and the provincial government of Northern Samar,” she said. The growing socio-cultural, political and economic challenges have global impacts, she added, resulting in a call to join forces: “The need to collaborate is more urgent now.”
Dr. Maria Luz Vilches, Vice President for the Loyola Schools, stresses the role of collaboration in alleviating global challenges.
ASMPH dean Dr. Manuel Dayrit added, “What excites me about this project is that the communities are coming together.”
Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health Dean Dr. Manuel Dayrit says the project is geared towards uniting communities.
Over a period of 10 months, SOLACE project participants (patients, doctors, community workers and local politicians) will create personal health diaries in the form of texts, songs, drawings, films and pictures. They will also meet with SOLACE researchers who will conduct ethnographic fieldworks. In May 2019, the participants’ health diaries will be showcased in exhibits in Keele and Manila. SOLACE health festivals will also be part of the research to further engage the local communities.
Project team poses with Ateneo officials led by University president Fr. Jose Ramon T. Villarin, SJ.
SOLACE is jointly funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, and the Medical Research Council under the Global Challenges Research Fund.