She earned a PhD in Public Health from Griffith University in 2018 and now Dr Maria Soledad Antonio is using her experience to address the effects of the pandemic in her home country of the Philippines.

Dr Antonio has been working closely with the Australian Embassy in Manila as well as Filipino ministers and secretaries to support the country’s COVID-19 vaccine procurement and deployment. As director of the Bureau of International Health Cooperation (BIHC) in Manila, she has been actively mapping resources worldwide to assist in the response.

The BIHC has taken to the frontline to provide:

  • Technical assistance
  • Management of foreign and local donations
  • Management of returning overseas Filipinos
  • Management of loans and grants
  • High-level meetings and partner engagements
  • Vaccine security

Whilst studying her PhD at Griffith University, Dr Antonio was under the supervision of Professor Claudia Chu, Director of Griffith University’s Centre for Environment and Population Health. Dr Antonio credits Professor Chu with helping her become the person she is today.

Watch the video to learn more about BIHC’s COVID-19 response efforts in the Philippines.