Madayaw News

Molecular Tracker app for Wastewater-Based Epidemiology launched

Written by Rene Estremera on . Posted in Madayaw News

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Project Leader Assoc. Prof. Dann Marie del Mundo (third from left) presents Project IWAS' accomplishment to City Health Office Epidemiologist Farah May Clamor (second from left)
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Assoc. Prof. del Mundo discusses the project with collaborators  
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Project Technical Assistant for Data Analytics Kieffer Arben Go presents the Molecular Tracker app.
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The Project IWAS team and their collaborators on October 23, 2023

A University of the Philippines Mindanao team held the launch of its Molecular Tracker web application on October 23, 2023, for the use of the technical agencies and the local government unitsThe Molecular Tracker app is a tool for monitoring the prevalence of COVID-19 within the community using data from wastewater systems. The app is a product of the DOST-funded Project IWAS, or "Integrated Wastewater-Based Epidemiology (WBE) and Data Analytics for Community-Level Pathogen Surveillance and Genetic Tracking: Proof-of-Concept," 

At the launch, Project Leader Assoc. Prof. Dann Marie del Mundo introduced Project IWAS as Project 4 of the research program of the Center for Applied Modeling, Data Analytics, and Bioinformatics for Decision Support Systems in Health (AMDABiDSS-Health). It is dedicated to mitigating health-related risks through the implementation of wastewater surveillance.

Its pilot sites comprise six communities (barangays) in Davao City, particularly Brgy. Matina Crossing, the focal site of Project iWAS. Through the analysis of wastewater samples and the conduct of comprehensive analyses and risk categorization, the project successfully generated predictive disease models, its milestone achievement. 

She highlighted the significance of the collaboration between the academe and the government offices in contributing to the project's achievements. These collaborators are the Department of Science & Technology-Region XI (DOST-XI), the Davao City Engineer's Office, the Davao City Health Office, the Davao City Planning and Development Office, and Barangay 74-A: Matina Crossing. 

In addition, one of the project's objectives is to develop a molecular community tracker for SARS-CoV2. From their preliminary efforts using integrated WBE and bioinformatic analysis, the project developed the Molecular Tracker web application, led by Assoc. Prof. Vladimer Kobayashi

Project Technical Assistant for Data Analytics Kieffer Arben Go introduced the Molecular Tracker app. He demonstrated the interactive aspects of the app by opening and explaining the contribution of each of the app's tabsThe app can calculate COVID-19 risk and measure the number of possible COVID-19-infected individuals in a community from data provided by the users. The team has tested the application through its Alpha and Beta phases, and is ready for use. 

In closing, AMDABIDSS Program Leader Prof. May Anne Mata thanked the project collaborators for highlighting the importance of public health surveillance and for lobbying the project to the city government. In particular, on behalf of Project IWAS and AMDABIDSS-Health, which is now renamed Disease Watch & Analytics, or DiWA. She disclosed the future plans of the research program and how government units and research projects can continue to go hand-in-hand in tackling health issues in the community. 

Project IWAS touches on the Sustainable Development Goals of Good Health and Well-Being, Clean Water and Sanitation, and Sustainable Cities and Communities.

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