|NCR-South Luzon Coordinator Rufus Adducul presenting|
the IHG-NIH and VYLH-Philippines experience
in mobilizing the youth for health.
LOS BAÑOS, LAGUNA – VYLH-Philippines NCR-South Luzon Coordinator Rufus Thomas Adducul gave a talk on the experience of the Institute of Human Genetics– National Institutes of Health (IHG-NIH), UP Manila in organizing a national volunteer youth leaders network – the Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health (VYLH)-Philippines. The talk was included in the parallel session on Health and Wellness Programs during the Luzon-leg of the inaugural Colleges and Universities Public Service Conference (CUPSCon) held last November 26-27, 2015 at the University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU).
The VYLH-Philippines presentation focused on the establishment and the achievements of the network and its volunteers. It provides an example on how the academe can partner with a youth organization and the youth, in general, for advocacy work.
VYLH-Philippines was established in order to address the call of the March of Dimes – Global Network for Maternal and Infant Health (GNMIH) in engaging the youth and youth professionals on volunteer public health and GNMIH activities. Founded in 2009, VYLH-Philippines was the result of the collaboration between IHG-NIH, the Department of Health and The UPLB Genetics Society.
Adducul noted that VYLH-Philippines flagship advocacies on promoting folic acid awareness, prematurity awareness, newborn screening and lobbying public support for rare disease patients were chosen and adopted by the network since these are pro-active, preventive and progressive interventions which address the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) of reducing child mortality and improving maternal health (MDG 4 and 5). Likewise, there is no similar youth organization in the country which focuses on these advocacies.
IHG-NIH (http://ihg.upm.edu.ph/) is the largest provider of genetic services in the country and it has also been involved in research, advocacy and policy recommendations. The proof of IHG-NIH’s efforts on research which translated into a policy is the Newborn Screening (NBS) Program institutionalized by the the NBS Act of 2004. Since the 13th Congress, IHG has also been involved in drafting a bill for the care and welfare of Filipino rare disease patients - the Rare Disease Act. At present, the bill has already reached Senate deliberations after gaining the concurrence of the House of Representatives last August.
ABOUT CUPSCon. The Los Banos event participated by Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) from Luzon is the second installment of CUPSCon1 with the first held on November 16-17 in UP Cebu and participated by HEIs from Visayas and Mindanao. The two-day conference with the theme "From the Ivory Tower to the Communities: Engaging Society with Commitment and Expertise" featured plenary and parallel sessions on the policies and projects of HEIs that beneift sectors outside the university community.
CUPSCon covered various topics such as community-engaged teaching and learning, institutionalization of community engagement and public service, knowledge-driven volunteerism, community engagement and public service; and university-industry linkages and engagements.
CUPSCon was made possible through the support of the Office of the President, and Office of the Vice President for Public Affairs of UP, the Office of the Chancellor of UP Los Baños (UPLB), the Office of the Chancellor of the UP Open University (UPOU), and organized through the cooperation of the UPLB Ugnayan ng Pahinungod, UPLB Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Extension, UP Manila Ugnayan ng Pahinungod, UP Diliman Office of Extension Coordination, UP Baguio Office of Public Affairs, the System Committee on Public Service Monitoring and Reporting, and the University of the Philippines Padayon Public Service Office.# (RPascual for Genews/The UPLB Genetics Society)
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