Resilience Knowledge Exchange Series Session 6: Wastewater-based Monitoring for Predicting Pandemics and Outbreaks Presentation Deck

Rationale of the Resilience Knowledge Exchnage Series Session 6 Webinar:

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought pervasive fears and new policies that change our way of life. As local efforts and hopes center on contact tracing and finding a vaccine, little attempts have been undertaken to view the environment in direct relation with COVID-19.

The environment is ultimately interconnected with mankind. Its degradation affects the quality of life of all individuals and living beings on earth. Locally, there has been no significant inquiry into how the environment, especially its degradation, might have influenced the pandemic. Neither is there any grand investigation on how the pandemic has affected the environment in turn. Could certain signs detected from environmental patterns and elements point us to the trends, causes, and cures of the pandemic? This question remains unasked, and therefore, unanswered.

The COVID-19 and the Environment webinar attempts to address this question, as two researchers discuss the impact of environmental degradation on the pandemic, including the current research and proposed projects in monitoring COVID-19. One such research focuses on waterways as early warning systems or a monitoring system for disease detection, especially for COVID-19. The other research centers on hazardous waste for the same purpose.

Though similar proposals have already been implemented internationally, no such research inquiry has been localized yet. Through this research, monitoring will be much more efficient, as specific areas and focus will be detected earlier.

Discussing innovative perspectives and tools offers us an alternative way of assuaging anxieties during this time of crisis. At the same time, it helps widen our understanding to include elements previously thought to be lateral but are actually quite essential: the environment.

The presentation on wastewater-based monitoring for predicting pandemics and outbreaks aims to explain the concept, importance, and potential of the said topic. This presentation was created and presented by Dr. Marilen Parungao Balolong, DRPH, DPAM, Professor and University Scientist at the University of the Philippines Manila. 

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