Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Preterm Problem

Health Promotion Update No. 3 – Series 2012
Health Promotion and Advocacy Working Group
World Prematurity Day Primer

Premature birth means a baby is born too early. Babies aren’t fully developed until at least 39 weeks of pregnancy. It is known that the development of the brains, lungs and eyes occur in the last few weeks of pregnancy. Worldwide, one baby in ten is born premature: Every year, about 15 million children are born too early.  Thus, preterm babies represent the largest child patient group and their number continues to increase (1).

In order to promote awareness about preterm births, as well as the problems and risks on the development of the premature infant, various international organizations such as the March of Dimes and European Foundation for the Care of Newborn Infants (EFCNI) have declared November 17 as the World Prematurity Day.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

A Day for Saved Babies

Ryan John Pascual (NCR-South Luzon), Ramzy Nuique (Visayas), Robin Charles Ramos (Mindanao)

"Saved babies" or the children with a genetic condition detected through newborn screening and consequently saved from death and mental retardation upon receiving the right and continuous treatment, were gathered in Quezon City, Dumaguete City and Davao City for the annual Reunion of Saved Babies. The event was organized by the respective Cluster Newborn Screening Centers (National Institutes of Health (NIH), Visayas, and Mindanao) in order to have a thanksgiving celebration with program partners, stakeholders, and beneficiaries for another year of continuous promotion of the government's newborn screening program.

The Philippine Newborn Screening Program supports the United Nations' Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 4 - reduction of child mortality.

Reunion of Saved Babies Visayas
Reunion of Saved Babies NCR-South Luzon
Reunion of Saved Babies Mindanao

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Understanding MSUD (Maple Syrup Urine Disease)

Health Promotion Update No. 2 – Series 2012
Health Promotion and Advocacy Working Group

Do you know that the newborn screening panel of disorders has been raised from five to six? 

Last May 2012, the Advisory Committee on Newborn Screening of the Department of Health approved the inclusion of Maple Syrup Urine Disease (MSUD) to the newborn screening panel of disorders. Its incidence rate which is higher than PKU or Phenylketunuria was one of the prime considerations for this move. According to the Newborn Screening Reference Center, there have been 101 cases of the disorder since 1992, and out of this number, only 26 are living.

Is there any change on the cost of NBS?

The Committee resolved that the offering of the additional test to all newborns will be done without any additional cost. Still, the newborn screening fee will be based on the maximum allowable cost for the NBS collection kit (filter card) and the maximum allowable service/collection fee by the health facility (50 pesos). The current NBS fee ranges from 550 to 600 pesos, as mandated by law. 

FAQs about Maple Syrup Urine Disease