Originally Published in Newborn Screening, the Official Publication of the Newborn Screening Reference Center - NIH, UP Manila. Vol. 14(1):4. January - March 2010 Issue
The Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health - Philippines (VYLH-Philippines) is a national collaboration of leaders of youth organizations in universities and communities in the Philippines. This novel undertaking is part of an international effort to establish the Global Network for Maternal and Infant Health (GMNIH) being participated in by youth counterparts in China and Lebanon as linked by the common interest of volunteerism and public service linked by the common interest of volunteerism and public service to improve birth outcomes worldwide.
The VYLH has been recently instituted through the help of the Department of Health, the Institute of Human Genetics - National Institutes of Health, UP Manila, and youth organizations from UP Los Baños. Currently, VYLH is composed of 19 university- and 13 community-based organizations nationwide. The group is under the supervision of Dr. Carmencita Padilla (UP Manila), champion of the Newborn Screening Act of the Philippines and related advocacies, and Dr. Merlyn Mendioro (UP Los Baños), Genetics educator and senior adviser of The UPLB Genetics Society. The current flagship program of VYLH is the Folic Acid Campaign that uses the youth to promote the importance of folic acid.
One of the activities conducted by young leaders was the "Youth Leaders Newborn Screening and Folic Acid Supplementation Seminar" held on January 11,2010 at the Farmer's Training Center, Central Mindanao University in Bukidnon. The seminar aimed to impart information and create awareness among CMU students of the importance of Newborn Screening and Folic Acid Supplementation. The CMU Supreme Student Council* through the Committee of Health and Insurance, and the Institute of Human Genetics - NIH, UP Manila joined efforts to conduct the seminar.
*The Central Mindanao University Supreme Student Council was represented by Romer Guerbo (BS Nursing Student), Former Head of the Committee on Health and Insurance and College of Nursing Representative) and Maria Katrina Gurro (BS Information Technology, former Vice President of the CMU-SSC). Maria Katrina Gurro currently works as Clerk to the Newborn Screening Center - Mindanao at the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC), Davao City. She is also the incumbent Auditor of VYLH-Philippines.