Thursday, December 20, 2018

DA Caraga Joins International Summit for Women Entrepreneurs in Nepal

Image credit: SAWDF fb page
Equality begins with economic empowerment.
An international call of the women in the world for gender equality through empowering the women economically. As such, the International Women Entrepreneurs Summit of 2018 was held at a hotel in Nepal last September 3-5, 2018.
The said summit was a gathering of representatives of women entrepreneurs from South Asian countries comprised of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan; and Southeast Asian countries such as Indonesia, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Philippines and China. 

There were also reprentatives from United Kingdom, Switzerland, Nigeria, Egypt, Bahrain and Jordan.

Philippines sent off its two delegates, fortunately, both are coming from Caraga Region, namely, supervising agriculturist Isabelita Ocampo of the Department of Agriculture Caraga and 2016 Outstanding Rural Woman Paterna Velasquez, chair of Mangagoy Fishermen Multi-Purpose Cooperative (MAFISCO) of Bislig City, Surigao del Sur.
Pramila Acharya Rijal, president of the South Asian Development Forum warmly welcomed all the delegates during the inaugural event.

Rijal said that the gathering was a diverse women’s participation promoting women entrepreneurship as well as boost its participation in business and marketing.
Various topics were discussed during the summit focusing on the role of women in business and challenging them to embrace e-commerce to at least maintain its market share in the ever changing market place.

Upon hearing the importance of ecommerce, Velasquez feels the need to embrace the technology for her cooperative to sustain its business enterprises.
MAFISCO humbly started as a group of small fisherfolks, fish traders, marine products traders and ice distributors in 1994, with an initial paid-up capital of only P16,150.00, and now a multi-million cooperative engaging in prototype mini banking operation, operating its own ice plant and cold storage facility, rice trading, and other business venture.

Various government agencies extended its services to the cooperative including the Department of Agriculture Caraga. (Aurelius P. Arais/DA Caraga)


Wednesday, December 19, 2018

DA to Determine Prevalence of Schistosomiasis on Farm Animals

Photo Credit: Wilfred C. Abrea
To determine the extent of schistosomiasis on farm animals, the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) of the Department of Agriculture is eyeing  Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratories  (DA-RADDL) to include schistosomiasis diagnosis on its array of services for the farmers

To capacitate laboratory personnel all over the country, BAI and Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) of the Department of Health conducted a 3-day extensive training in Butuan City hosted by DA Caraga RADDL on October 2-4, 2018.
Unknown from the general public, schistosomiasis is not only affecting human but it also affects animals especially farm animals since they are exposed on infested water.
According to WHO,  schistosomiasis is an acute and chronic disease caused by parasitic worms wherein people are infected during routine agricultural, domestic, occupational, and recreational activities, which expose them to infested water.

“Schistosomiasis is affecting animals in the farm but as of now we don’t have data concrete on how prevalent is it in the country since its study generally focuses on the human side,” said Dr. Daria Manalo, chief science research specialist of RITM.
She explained that farm animals exposed on areas with the presence of the intermediate host snail called Oncomelania species will most likely to be infected by the disease.

“Oncomelania species of snail is a very small as small as the tip of the ballpen ,” Dr. Manalo described.  She rolled out the common notion that the parasite causing disease can be contacted from the golden apple snail (GAS) commonly seen in rice paddies or irrigation canal linings.
“Based on available studies, GAS is not a host of the parasite, it is only the Oncomelania species,” she explained.
“As of now there is no specific study yet to determine the effect of the schistosomiasis on the animals hence previous cases of the animals might be attributed to other disorders,” Dr. Manalo said.

Dr. Esther Cardeño, chief of the DA Caraga RADDL said that diagnosis of schistosomiasis on animals is currently not part of the services being offered.

“We are leaned towards schistosomiasis diagnosis but we are still waiting for the diagnosis protocol being finalized by RITM,” Dr. Cardeño said.
“As soon as the protocol has been finalized, DA Caraga will include schistosomiasis diagnosis,” she added.
Dr. Cardeño said that presence of schistosomiasis on animals can be determined through the fecal sample to be analyzed in the laboratory.
As preventive measure Cardeño urged the public to wear personal protective equipment (PEE) if submerging in a known infected area is unavoidable and to maintain personal hygiene, especially in proper fecal disposal since egg of the parasite that causes schistosomiasis might be spread through waste excretion. 
World Health Organization (WHO) reported that the economic and health effects of schistosomiasis are considerable and the disease disables more than it kills. In children, schistosomiasis can cause anemia, stunting and a reduced ability to learn, although the effects are usually reversible with treatment. Chronic schistosomiasis may affect people’s ability to work and in some cases can result in death. 
“The number of deaths due to schistosomiasis is difficult to estimate because of hidden pathologies such as liver and kidney failure, bladder cancer and ectopic pregnancies due to female genital schistosomiasis,” WHO added. (Aurelius P. Arais/DA Caraga)