The Health Security Science Group (HSSG)

The Health Security Science Group (HSSG) is a unique partnership between the Philippine Society of Public Health Physicians (PSPHP) and 101 Health Research that provides technical assistance to companies in developing their capacity to prevent and control COVID-19 in the workplace. To achieve this, our team of experts conducts a comprehensive risk assessment, undertakes descriptive epidemiology and outbreak investigation, and determines whether a company is in crisis.

To perform a comprehensive risk assessment, we do a series of workplace visits and conduct a COVID-19 specific workplace risk assessment to identify specific areas or practices that may be modified to decrease the likelihood of COVID-19 transmission. We provide specific actionable recommendations and conduct a post-intervention evaluation. Many of our recommendations are based on the principle of hierarchy of controls, as well as current evidence-based recommendations from global guidelines.

Integral to the situational assessment is describing the current epidemiology of COVID-19 in the workplace. This includes determining the burden of disease in the company: how many cases there are, how rapid the rate of increase of cases is, absenteeism and presenteeism, and what the common characteristics of the cases are. We perform outbreak investigations to determine whether any clusters can be identified and whether local transmission is likely. From here, we assist the companies in setting up case detection, identifying who and when to test, and provide guidance how to deploy contact tracing. It is crucial that the company is capable of routinely capturing complete and real-time data, so we assist it in setting up interventions such as daily health declaration, and network graph analytics from QR codes to track their movements within the buildings.

We also use principles from disaster risk reduction for crisis management and business continuity planning. We build capacity within companies to set up their own Incident Command Centers, to organize themselves in dealing with COVID-19 outbreaks within the company (and prepare them for future disasters). This includes planning for business continuity while dealing with necessary controls or changes brought about by the pandemic or by government regulations.

At HSSG, we believe that private sector enterprises play a central role in public health and in rebuilding the nation’s economy.  

Trust is the currency of research. We strive to practice Responsible Conduct of Research by abiding with the principles of our ASEAN RCR community, the ICMJE Criteria for Authorship, and ensuring data integrity in all projects. We ensure integrating RCR in all of our research learning activities.

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