April 27, 2021 – Day 1 of the Mindanao Regional Scientific Meeting (MRSM) – an annual event that gathers the Region’s leading research bodies was held via online platforms: Zoom and Facebook Live.
During the event, Vice-President for Research, Extension Services and External Linkages (VP-RESEL) of Western Mindanao State University (WMSU), Dr. Teresita A. Narvaez, discussed the emergence of human diseases in the agriculture sector of Zamboanga Peninsula.
According to Dr. Narvaez, the emergence of human diseases in the agriculture sector may be attributed to agricultural intensification and farming practices, damage to the environment, and infectious disease transmission from animals to humans.
She added that as an agricultural economy, Zampen farming and fishing systems are intensified with increasing urgency to meet the needs of the growing population. As farming practices become more complex, the improper use of pesticides and other chemical sprays become more prevalent, albeit with the inherent achievement of optimum production and increased income.
Secondly, diseases are the consequences of damage to the environment in the form of ecosystem loss and pollution. Thirdly, infectious diseases are caused by zoonotic and vector-borne diseases that are transmissible from animals to humans.
Dr. Narvaez advised academic institutions to enhance the curriculum and integrate health education to prevent potential pandemics, conduct extension programs for farmers, fisher folk and their families, and to promote health research through collaborations and partnerships with multiple sectors and fields, whilst sharing the results among relevant sectors and stakeholders in the Region.
This activity is in line with President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s thrust of bringing science closer to the Filipino people in various regions in the country and aims to seek and discover different experiences and insights of several scientists, researchers, participants about science and technology issues in Mindanao.