The Official Publication of Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health - Philippines

More than a test: Interesting facts about Newborn Screening

Health Promotion Update No. 3 - Series 2013
Health Promotion and Advocacy Working Group
Updated 28 September

In celebration of the 2013 Newborn Screening Week, VYLH-Philippines will be posting interesting facts and trivias about Newborn Screening in our Official Facebook Account. These updates will also be compiled in this blog post. 

Photo credits: Baby's First Test 
2013 marks 50 years of saving lives through newborn screening. (Posted 28 September 2013)

In 1963, Dr. Guthrie’s method of testing was finally published in the journal Pediatrics. The Guthrie test is a microbiological assay for the presence of phenylalanine, phenylpyruvate, and phenyllactate in blood or urine. In the same year, the field trial was completed and this pushed the USA Children's Bureau to adopt the slogan, "Test Every Newborn For PKU."

This discovery marked the beginning of NBS - a simple test that has changed and saved lives.

Did you know that...

Newborn bloodspot screening (NBS) was only introduced in the Philippines in 1996?

The current newborn screening coverage shows that we are only halfway in reaching 100% coverage.

It's never to late to pick NBS as your advocacy. #NBSsaves

Figure obtained from Newborn Screening (Jan-Feb 2013 Issue), the Official Newsletter of the Newborn Screening Reference Center (NSRC). Log in to to get your free copy!

NBS Q&A Posts:
Newborn screening is a procedure to find out if your baby has a disorder that may lead to mental retardation if left untreated. #NBSsaves

Newborn screening is important because early detection of metabolic disorders help prevent irreversible ill effects. #NBSsaves

Newborn screening is ideally done on the 48th hour or at least 24 hours from birth. #NBSsaves

Newborn Screening Option1 costs P550.The cost of NBS is presently included in the newborn care package for members of PhilHealth. #NBSsaves

NBS trivia: To save more babies, newborn screening has expanded from six to twenty-eight disorders starting January 2014. #NBSsaves

Newborn Screening is a simple procedure that uses the heel prick method. #NBSsaves

Newborn screening can be done by a physician, a nurse, a midwife or medical technologist. #NBSsaves

NBS is available in participating health institutions (hospitals, lying-ins, Rural Health Units and Health Centers). #NBSsaves

NBS results are available within 7-14 working days after the newborn screening samples are received in the NBS laboratory.  #NBSsaves

A negative screen means that the result of the test indicates extremely low risk of having any of the disorders being screened. #NBSsaves

NBS Trivia: A positive screen means that the baby is at increased risk of having one of the disorders being screened. #NBSsaves

Babies with positive results should be referred at once to the nearest hospital for confirmatory testing and further management. #NBSsaves

The practice of newborn screening in the Philippines started in 1996. #NBSsaves

Expanded newborn screening is optional and will be offered by participating facilities for P1,500. It covers 28 disorders. #NBSsaves

NBS trivia: To save more babies, newborn screening has expanded from six to twenty-eight disorders starting January 2014. #NBSsaves

Newborn Screening Option1 consists of 6 disorders: CH, CAH, GAL, PKU, G6PD, and MSUD. It costs P550 which is covered by PhilHealth.#NBSsaves

Expanded NBS includes hemoglobinopathies&addl metabolic disorders: organic acid,fatty acid oxidation,and amino acid disorders. #NBSsaves


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