DOST project eyeing to develop health needs assessment tool, GIS to benefit IDPs

Published August 20, 2021, 8:33 PM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza 

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is currently supporting a project that seeks to develop a geographic information system to address post-disaster basic and health needs of internally displaced persons (IDPs) who seek refuge in temporary housing facilities.

Residents in Laurel, Batangas take temporary shelter at Barangay Ticub Elementary School on July 1, 2021 after a short-lived phreatomagmatic eruption occurs at Taal Volcano’s main crater. (Photo by ALI VICOY)

DOST Secretary Fortunato “Boy” T. de la Peña said the project, spearheaded by Dr. Catrina M. Yang of EpiMetrics, Inc. got the support of the DOST-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD).

The project which started last July 1 aims “to develop a health needs assessment tool and a resource-based Geographical Information System (GIS), both for facilitating a post-disaster response for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in evacuation centers,” de la Peña said during his weekly report on Friday, Aug. 20.

“Specifically, it aims to develop a health needs assessment tool for IDP shelters, develop a GIS tool that integrates demographic, health and basic needs data from different IDP shelters as well as pertinent logistical information, propose a network for pertinent interagency data sources and determine effectiveness of the GIS tool in a climate-related disaster simulation using data from past disasters,” the DOST chief explained.

De la Peña said through the project, it is expected that information on health needs and corresponding geographical information to facilitate more efficient distribution of life-saving aid will be provided, and that the logistical patterns of need will be identified.

“This will also provide LGUs, the regional and national government, as well as those donating aid, with the information they need to ensure the efficient and effective uptake of goods and services,” he added.