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Belen Dofitas, MD, FPDS
After 3 months of on-line voting, the projects of two Philippine Dermatological Society members garnered the top awards of Community Leadership in Dermatology and the Excellence in Education. Out of 105 entries from the Asia- Pacific Region, these projects won the Community Vote or the most number of on-line votes from the international dermatology community during the period of June 23 to September 18, 2017.
The SKINPACT Awards aim “to inspire dermatologists and other doctors with an interest in dermatology, to develop and help implement voluntary projects that support a sustainable dermatology community.” The Award will enable the project leaders to carry out their projects through a grant of US$10,000.
SkinPact Awards 2017 (Asia-Pacific): Community Leadership in Dermatology Category – Community Vote
Partners In Leprosy Action (PILA): a community skin health strategy as a combined approach to detecting skin-related neglected Tropical Diseases
Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) have prominent skin manifestations such as leprosy, yaws, lymphatic filariasis, mycetoma, cutaneous leishmaniasis, Buruli ulcer and onchocerciasis. The first five skin-related NTDs exist in the Philippines. Innovative and integrated approaches to NTD control and eradication are needed.
Partners in Leprosy Action (PILA) is a strategy initiated by the Philippine Leprosy Mission in 2005 that brings together various stakeholders (Local Government Units, Department of Health, Department of Education, dermatologists, community members) to develop sustainable community skin health programs to enhance awareness, early detection, treatment, and prevention of leprosy and other prevalent skin diseases.
This pilot project aims to determine the effectiveness, outcome and impact of the Partners In Leprosy Action (PILA) community skin health strategy as a combined approach to skin–related NTDs in a Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Area (GIDA) of the Philippines such as the Liguasan Marsh area of Tulunan, North Cotabato where at least two of these NTDs have been reported as endemic (ex. leprosy and yaws).
The Project Leader is Dr. Belen Lardizabal Dofitas, a Fellow of the Philippine Dermatological Society and President of the Board of Trustees-Philippine Leprosy Mission (the implementing agency).
SkinPact Awards 2017 (Asia-Pacific): Excellence in Education Category – Community Vote
“Schisto Dere Laksi”: A Community-wide Education on the Schistosomal Rash for Early Detection in an Endemic Philippine Province Using Film and Comic book”
Schistosomiasis is a neglected tropical disease that has been plaguing the Philippines for decades especially because of its complications in the liver. Filipinos in endemic areas need to be more aware about early diagnosis and treatment.
“Schisto dere Laksi” means “Schisto is no joke”. It is a project that focuses on teaching communities about early detection of schistosomiasis by recognizing an early manifestation of the disease such as the skin rash. The itchy rash appears after contact with the schistosomal cercariae in fresh water. With early recognition and treatment, the chronicity and late-stage sequelae of this neglected tropical disease can be prevented. The project sites are 3 rural barangays in the adjacent towns of Oras, Dolores and Can-avid in Eastern Samar. A comic book and a short film in the Waray dialect will be developed and used as educational tools.
The Project Leader is Dr. Mirla Celina S. Taira, a Fellow of the Philippine Dermatological Society and a member of the Marikina Valley Medical Society.