Monday, September 16, 2013

Valencia Sanitarium and Hospital spearheads G6PD Forum

Written by Robin Charles Ramos
Originally Published in VSH's Lifeline Weekly Vo. 1 No. 15



Sixty-five parents and their children participated in the 1st G6PD Forum spearheaded by VSH on August 29, 2013 at the VSH Conference Room. Out of the 80 VSH G6PD deficiency cases confirmed through newborn screening, 30 were being represented by either a parent or a close relative. The rest of the 65 participants came from other health facilities within Valencia City
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We felt a great need to promote newborn screening and at the same time answer the many questions lingering in the minds of parents with G6PD deficient children. And we felt that organizing this forum will be a big help", Mrs. Lylibeth Halasan, the VSH Chief Medtech and one of the main organizers of the program explained". As such, we invited Dr. Conchita G. Abarquez, a pediatrician and the only geneticist in Mindanao to be our guest speaker", she added. Dr. Abarquez currently heads the Newborn Screening CenterMindanao based in Davao City.



I am very happy I attended", testified Mrs. Clita Q. Quitoy, whose granddaughter has G6PD. "Im thankful for the organizers. They really urged me to come. I really learned a lot especially what I can and cannot feed my apo", she told the crowd.

Good enough for me, I attended. Dr. Abarquez has really done a good job explaining the details", Mrs. Marieta Dojello, one of the participants, quipped.

G6PD deficiency is one of the six metabolic disorders that can be detected through the newborn screening. It is an inherited disorder characterized by hemolytic anemia due to a deficiency of the enzyme glucose-6 phosphate dehydrogenase, which is a result of a defective gene located in the X chromosome. Fortunately, G6PD deficiency will not be fatal especially if families and victims avoid the foods and chemicals that could trigger hemolytic reaction.

Hon. Glen Galario, Valencia City councilor, gave the welcome remarks in behalf of his mayor-father, Hon. Jose Galario, Jr. He urged the participants to let their newborns undergo screening as this would detect disorders early and more could still be done to arrest later complications. He promised to try his best to raise the city annual subsidy for newborn screening which as of now amounts PHP200,000.00.

After the closing remarks of the City Health Officer, Dr. Marlyn Agabayani, the participants created a G6PD Parent Support group whose first objective is to lay down the program and activities in relation to the Newborn Screening Week on October 2013, the Reunion of Saved BabiesValencia City, and the 2nd G6PD Forum.

The success of the program was made possible through the support of the City Health OfficeValencia, the Newborn Screening CenterMindanao, and the Volunteer Youth Leaders for HealthPhilippines (Mindanao Cluster).


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Robin Charles Ramos is a Master in  Business Adminitsration graduate of the Cor Jesu College  in Digos City, Davao del Sur. He is also currently employed as a  Human Resources Department  staff at the Valencia Sanitarium and Hospital in Bukidnon. He is also an alumnus of  South Philippine  Adventist College where he completed his degree in Business Administration. Robin  became affiliated to the network during the 2010 Mindanao Island-wide Youth Camp.

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