Saturday, October 31, 2015

DOH, VYLH Central Luzon boost IEC Campaign for NBS

In celebration of National Newborn Screening (NBS) Week, the Department of Health–Regional Office 3, in collaboration with the Newborn Screening Center–Central Luzon, held the Second Annual Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health (VYLH) Central Luzon Chapter Assembly at King’s Royale Hotel and Resort, San Fernando City, Pampanga, on October 1-3, 2015.

Forty-one youth leaders from different colleges and universities in Central Luzon together with young professional nurses participated in creating information, education, and communication (IEC) materials for the promotion of the NBS program.

The workshop produced IECs such as brochures, slogans, posters, tarpaulins, billboards, and comic books. The best design for each category received sets of basic and expanded NBS kits to be given to their choice of Newborn Screening Facility in their respective provinces. These designs will be developed and used as official promotional materials for Central Luzon.

The activity ended with the traditional rainstorm closing ceremony where participants pledged their commitment to uphold  the advocacies and values of VYLH-Philippines. RDione

This article was also published in the September-October 2015 Issue of Newborn Screening, the official newsletter of the Newborn Screening Reference Center (NSRC)-NIH, UP Manila. To download a copy. visit

VYLH CARAGA holds 2nd Regional Camp, welcomes Batch Hiraya

Written by Shane Paul Baula

As part of its expansion, the Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health (VYLH) Philippines–CARAGA Region, in cooperation with Department of Health (DOH)–CARAGA Regional Office Caraga, City Health Office of Butuan, and Newborn Screening Center (NSC)–Mindanao, organized a youth camp to increase awareness on health issues at Veranda Beach Resort, Carmen, Agusan del Norte, on October 15-16, 2015.

The camp, which is on its second year, also welcomed Batch Hiraya, the new set of VYLH volunteers composed of 28 participants from different organizations in the community and academe. Hiraya is a Filipino word for dream, imagination, or vision. The camp also hosted the Peer Educators Training and Workshop organized by the City Health Office of Butuan and DOH-CARAGA.

This year’s activity highlighted the history of VYLH, youth empowerment, and the roles of volunteers in advocating health issues. The current situation of the newborn screening program in CARAGA and how the new volunteers can achieve VYLH’s advocacies were also presented. There were also lectures on newborn screening,expanded newborn screening, folic acid and rare disorders.
During the camp, Batch Hiraya prepared its action plans and presented it to the facilitators. On the night of the second day, the new volunteers went through a commitment ritual where they lit floating candles at the beach, followed by cultural presentations. 

Overall, the camp was a colorful and productive experience for the new members of the VYLH family. Despite hailing from different walks of life and having diverse insights, the new volunteers would become catalysts of change and actors of the network’s vision.

VYLH-Philippines CARAGA  hosted the first VYLH-Philippines Regional Camp on October 2011. SPBaula

This article was also published in the September-October 2015 Issue of Newborn Screening, the official newsletter of the Newborn Screening Reference Center (NSRC)-NIH, UP Manila. To download a copy. visit

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Abra enacts Philippines' first local ENBS ordinance

Health Promotion and Advocacy Update

The Province of Abra leads the nation in supporting Expanded Newborn Screening (ENBS) through local legislation. Last May 6, 2015, Abra Governor Eustaquio P. Bersamin promulgated Ordinance No. 231 or “The Expanded Newborn Screening Program of the Province of Abra.” According to the Newborn Screening Reference Center (NSRC), the local ordinance is “the first and, so far, the only ordinance legislated for ENBS in the Philippines since the start of its implementation on December 24, 2014 as approved by the Department of Health Advisory Committee on Newborn Screening (DOH-ACNBS).”

Saturday, October 10, 2015

The Youth speaks for a Healthier Philippines

VYLH-Philippines National President
Christian Emmanuel Enriquez
(Photo: VMendoza/NSRC-NIH,UP Manila)
Last October 6-7, 2015, the 13th Newborn Screening Convention was held at the Manila Hotel. The event was participated by over a thousand attendees from the medical and allied professions all over the Philippines. This year’s theme is Enhancing Newborn Care, Nurturing Minds, Brightening the Future and Saving more lives.

I was given the privilege to speak in behalf of the youth through our network, Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health - Philippines. An allotted time of 30 minutes was given to me to deliver an important message, "What is the Role of the Youth in Health Issues?" which I explained further by answering the following WHAT questions through acronyms.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

13th NBS Convention: Enhancing Newborn Care, Nurturing Minds, Brightening the Future and Saving Lives

Written by Ram Christian Cossid, RN
Batch K4

13th NBS Convention. The 13th NBS convention gathered health
practitioners, technical experts and NBS advocates
(Photo: VMendoza, NSRC-NIH-UP Manila)
Newborn Screening or NBS is a routine test for newborns ideally done after the 24th hour of life, as mandated by the Newborn Screening Act of 2004 (Republic Act 9288). NBS is bound to detect metabolic disorders that may hamper a newborn from living life to the fullest. From the basic six tests – which screens for Phenylketonuria (PKU), Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH), G6PD Deficiency, Galactosemia, Congenital Hypothyroidism (CH) and Maple Syrup Urine Disease (MSUD)NBS has now expanded its scope by adding 22 more disorders to the panel, now commonly known as the Expanded Newborn Screening program or ENBS.

With this venture, NBS further fortifies its take on the 5th Millennium Development Goal to help abridge the incidence of worldwide infant mortality and to promote their wellness. Now, NBS facilities once again convened to discuss updates regarding the program’s expanding scope and coverage, as well as the challenges and noteworthy steps that are being assumed to save more lives.

The 13th Newborn Screening Convention with the theme, Enhancing Newborn Care, Nurturing Minds, Brightening the Future and Saving more Lives, was held on October 6 and 7 at the Manila Hotel. The convention was organized by the Newborn Screening Society of the Philippines and the Newborn Screening Reference Center-NIH, UP Manila. 

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Infographic: Expanded Newborn Screening

Health Promotion and Advocacy Update

Early this year, the expanded NBS program started and this allowed the screening of hemoglobinopathies and additional metabolic disorders, namely organic acid, fatty acid oxidation, and amino acid disorders. All these conditions can be treated at birth, avoiding complications of no treatment.

Expanded newborn screening is optional. This makes newborn screening to be offered to parents in all participating facilities with the following options:

Option 1: Six (6) disorders (CH, CAH, GAL, PKU, G6PD, and MSUD) at
P 550.

Option 2: The full complement of 28 disorders (including the previous six disorders) at P 1,500

The cost of newborn screening, which is now at P 550, is presently included in the newborn care package for members of PhilHealth.