Thursday, September 15, 2016

VYLH-Philippines dubbed YouthLeadGlobal Top Model Youth Leadership Program

Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health (VYLH) - Philippines was selected as one of the Top Model Youth Leadership Programs of 2016 by the global youth leadership program search, YouthLeadGlobal. 

YouthLeadGlobal is a collaborative engagement of Leadership, Management & Governance (LMG) Project, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), International Youth Alliance for Family Planning and Youth Health and Rights Coalition. 

The global review aims to identify and examine effective youth leadership programs, models and strategies from around the world that aim to improve health outcomes for the youth through leadership. Qualified programs give focus on the youth’s health, as well as nurturing their leadership and knowledge skills. Such programs must have demonstrated positive outcomes for the youth in general, including the development of health services of youth-oriented organisations and communities. Furthermore, these programs should provide opportunities for the youth to practice leadership.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

VYLH-Philippines holds 3rd Central Visayas Regional Youth Camp

Written by Kristofer Ralph Supil, RN (Hiraya, Dumaguete)

Way up north in the island of Cebu, the waves splashed and glimmered from the sunbeams as the second leg of the Visayas cluster camps was about to commence. New volunteers from two regions, from five different provinces, came to grace the occasion. Surrounded by their ates and kuyas for the first time, new volunteers were welcomed in the best way possible, the VYLH style.

The two days in the camp would prove to be monumental in their journey to become leaders in the Philippines. They signed up for something bigger than themselves.

The delegates from the provinces of Cebu, Negros Oriental, Negros Occidental, Bohol, and Siquijor, took part in their very first step in becoming a volunteer youth leader for health. Popularly known as VYLH-Philippines, the organization has been running since 2009, slowly growing in number, and constantly strengthening its network with volunteer youth leaders who have a passion for leadership and health. These volunteers from different parts of the country are currently focusing on three advocacies: the campaign on folic acid awareness, the promotion on newborn screening, and the lobbying of support for rare and orphan disorders. The organization has been successful so far in mobilizing the youth in making a dent, a profound change, in history.

With the efforts of the organizing committee and the support of the Department of Health Regional Office VII (DOH RO7), Newborn Screening Center Visayas (NSCV) and the Institute of Human Genetics (IHG-NIH, UP Manila), the second leg of this year's regional camp to usher in a new wave of passionate leaders was made possible.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

VYLH-Philippines spearheads 1st Nat’l Social media day for Folic acid Awareness #FolicAcidPH


In observance of this year’s Nutrition Month and National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week, the Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health (VYLH)-Philippines together with the Institute of Human Genetics, NIH-UP Manila launched #FolicAcidPH, the first National Social Media Day for Folic Acid Awareness last July 18, 2016. 

Studies have shown that the intake of folic acid or vitamin B9 through supplements and fortified foods can significantly reduce the risk of neural tube defects (NTDs) or problems on the development of the baby’s brain and spine. NTDs comprise one of the most common group of serious birth defects which may result in immediate infant death, deformity or disability. 

Although there are efforts directed towards increasing awareness, knowledge and consumption of folic acid, the full potential of folic acid to reduce the risk of NTDs has not yet realized in most countries, including the Philippines. At present, there is also no existing legislation on folic acid fortification, supplementation, public education and promotion in the Philippines. 

The #FolicAcidPH social media campaign which aims to increase public awareness on folic acid, its sources, and its role in good health and the prevention of NTDs was able to gain the support and active participation of 49 partner organizations: 45 university-based organizations, 3 national student alliances/organizations and one non-government organization. The campaign was convened by VYLH-Philippines Former National President and Pioneer member Ryan John Pascual. 

Monday, August 15, 2016

AMSA-WVSU SCORE conducts Folic Acid Deficiency forum

Written by Gilbert Guy D. Murillo

LA PAZ, ILOILO - The Asian Medical Students' Association – West Visayas State University (AMSA-WVSU) joined the Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health (VYLH) - Philippines in launching the First National Social Media Day for Folic Acid Awareness last July 18, 2016. The event, dubbed as #FolicAcidPH, had a main objective to increase public awareness on folic acid and its important role in the prevention of neural tube defects through a social media campaign. 

AMSA-WVSU members and the students of WVSU College of Medicine participated in the said campaign by sharing infographics and posts from #FolicAcidPH Facebook page, joining the #FolicAcidPH Thunderclap, using #FolicAcidPH in posts and tweets, and posting photos with #FolicAcidPH campaign related fan signs and fan boards. 

AMSA-WVSU further advanced the #FolicAcidPH campaign by holding a forum last July 30, 2016, in cooperation with VYLH-Philippines Iloilo Chapter. The “#FolicAcidPH and the Youth Forum” aimed to promote folic acid deficiency prevention and awareness through the initiative and commitment of the youth. The said activity was participated by representatives from WVSU College of Communication (COC).

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

#HealthXPh, VYLH-Philippines hold Preconception Health TweetChat

Does disability prevention begin in the womb? or earlier? “Prevention is better than cure” has always been a common and undoubtedly true saying. However, there is still a gap on how Filipinos carry this saying in preparing to have kids and start a family.

Last July 23, 2016, VYLH-Philippines together with #HealthXPH conducted a TweetChat on Preconception Health (PreCon) for Birth Defects and Disability Prevention. According to the TweetChat statistics compiled using Symplur, the one hour tweetchat which started at exactly 9:00 in the evening peaked with 560 tweets on the topic coming from 37 participants composed of doctors, medicine students and health advocates.

Moderated by Former VYLH-Philippines National President Ryan Pascual (@rypascual) with guidance from HealthXPh core collaborator Dr. Gia Sison (@giasison), the TweetChat session explored the possible reasons why preconception health consultation and awareness is not popular and the reforms or possible activities that can be done to improve PreCon awareness. The utilization of social media in improving PreCon awareness was also discussed. 

The tweetchat is part of the 7th Founding Anniversary Week of VYLH-Philippines and the network's observance of National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

UPM Chancellor Padilla to receive Global Genes Rare Champion of Hope award

Global Genes, one of the leading rare disease patient advocacy organizations in the world has selected Dr. Carmencita Padilla as one of the 2016 Rare Champions of Hope. Dr. Padilla will receive a “Rare Champion of Hope” recognition under the Medical care and Treatment -International category. 

As published on the Global Genes website, Dr. Carmencita Padilla, the current Chancellor of the University of the Philippines Manila was recognized for her “remarkable contribution to the rare disease community [which] has made her a beacon of hope for many in the Philippines. She is instrumental in creating genetic services at the Philippine General Hospital, which later became the Institute of Human Genetics of the National Institutes of Health-UP Manila. She introduced newborn screening for optimal health in the Philippines and is responsible for the Newborn Screening Act of 2004. Dr. Padilla is also Founding Chairman of the Philippine Society for Orphan Disorder and is again instrumental in the passage of the Rare Disease Act of the Philippines enacted March 2016, after 7 years of deliberating with 3 congresses. Her innovations are influential in providing all aspects of support and awareness about rare disease in the country and beyond." [1] 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

LGU, DOH Region III gear up Nampicuan youth for community health promotion

NAMPICUAN, NUEVA ECIJA – The Local Government Unit (LGU) of the Municipality of Nampicuan through its Municipal Health Officer (MHO), Dr. Ron Allan Quimado in cooperation with The UPLB Genetics Society (GeneSoc) and Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health (VYLH) – Philippines established a community-based youth organization in a three-day training camp held last June 7-9, 2016.

A total of 16 youth participants joined the K4Health training program sponsored by the Department of Health –Central Luzon Regional Office (DOH Regional Office III), Newborn Screening Center – Central Luzon (NSC-CL), Institute of Human Genetics (IHG) – NIH, UP Manila, and alumni members of GeneSoc. Preparatory training activities for facilitators were also made possible through UPLB Ugnayan ng Pahinungod and VYLH-Philippines.

Barangay Service Point Ofiicers (BSPO), GeneSoc facilitators, and youth volunteers of Nampicuan assemble for a photo opportunity after the special portion of the training program intended for BSPOs (Photo: GeneSoc)

The program title, K4Health (Kabataan for Health), strongly underscores the role of the youth in nation-building and their mobilization towards health promotion. The four “Ks” also mean “Kabataang Kabalikat ng Komunidad para sa Kalusugan” highlighting the need for the youth to effect change in their community.

The training program, which is actually a pioneering joint project of VYLH-Philippines and GeneSoc in establishing a community-based VYLH Chapter, aimed to organize and mobilize the youth of Nampicuan towards birth defects prevention and newborn screening promotion.