Wednesday, August 31, 2016

VYLH-Philippines holds 3rd Central Visayas Regional Youth Camp

Written by Kristofer Ralph Supil, RN (Hiraya, Dumaguete)

Way up north in the island of Cebu, the waves splashed and glimmered from the sunbeams as the second leg of the Visayas cluster camps was about to commence. New volunteers from two regions, from five different provinces, came to grace the occasion. Surrounded by their ates and kuyas for the first time, new volunteers were welcomed in the best way possible, the VYLH style.

The two days in the camp would prove to be monumental in their journey to become leaders in the Philippines. They signed up for something bigger than themselves.

The delegates from the provinces of Cebu, Negros Oriental, Negros Occidental, Bohol, and Siquijor, took part in their very first step in becoming a volunteer youth leader for health. Popularly known as VYLH-Philippines, the organization has been running since 2009, slowly growing in number, and constantly strengthening its network with volunteer youth leaders who have a passion for leadership and health. These volunteers from different parts of the country are currently focusing on three advocacies: the campaign on folic acid awareness, the promotion on newborn screening, and the lobbying of support for rare and orphan disorders. The organization has been successful so far in mobilizing the youth in making a dent, a profound change, in history.

With the efforts of the organizing committee and the support of the Department of Health Regional Office VII (DOH RO7), Newborn Screening Center Visayas (NSCV) and the Institute of Human Genetics (IHG-NIH, UP Manila), the second leg of this year's regional camp to usher in a new wave of passionate leaders was made possible.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

VYLH-Philippines spearheads first National Social media day for Folic acid Awareness #FolicAcidPH


In observance of this year’s Nutrition Month and National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week, the Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health (VYLH)-Philippines together with the Institute of Human Genetics, NIH-UP Manila launched #FolicAcidPH, the first National Social Media Day for Folic Acid Awareness last July 18, 2016. 

Studies have shown that the intake of folic acid or vitamin B9 through supplements and fortified foods can significantly reduce the risk of neural tube defects (NTDs) or problems on the development of the baby’s brain and spine. NTDs comprise one of the most common group of serious birth defects which may result in immediate infant death, deformity or disability. 

Although there are efforts directed towards increasing awareness, knowledge and consumption of folic acid, the full potential of folic acid to reduce the risk of NTDs has not yet realized in most countries, including the Philippines. At present, there is also no existing legislation on folic acid fortification, supplementation, public education and promotion in the Philippines. 

The #FolicAcidPH social media campaign which aims to increase public awareness on folic acid, its sources, and its role in good health and the prevention of NTDs was able to gain the support and active participation of 49 partner organizations: 45 university-based organizations, 3 national student alliances/organizations and one non-government organization. The campaign was convened by VYLH-Philippines Former National President and Pioneer member Ryan John Pascual. 

Monday, August 15, 2016

AMSA-WVSU SCORE conducts Folic Acid Deficiency forum

Written by Gilbert Guy D. Murillo

LA PAZ, ILOILO - The Asian Medical Students' Association – West Visayas State University (AMSA-WVSU) joined the Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health (VYLH) - Philippines in launching the First National Social Media Day for Folic Acid Awareness last July 18, 2016. The event, dubbed as #FolicAcidPH, had a main objective to increase public awareness on folic acid and its important role in the prevention of neural tube defects through a social media campaign. 

AMSA-WVSU members and the students of WVSU College of Medicine participated in the said campaign by sharing infographics and posts from #FolicAcidPH Facebook page, joining the #FolicAcidPH Thunderclap, using #FolicAcidPH in posts and tweets, and posting photos with #FolicAcidPH campaign related fan signs and fan boards. 

AMSA-WVSU further advanced the #FolicAcidPH campaign by holding a forum last July 30, 2016, in cooperation with VYLH-Philippines Iloilo Chapter. The “#FolicAcidPH and the Youth Forum” aimed to promote folic acid deficiency prevention and awareness through the initiative and commitment of the youth. The said activity was participated by representatives from WVSU College of Communication (COC).

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

#HealthXPh, VYLH-Philippines hold Preconception Health TweetChat

Does disability prevention begin in the womb? or earlier? “Prevention is better than cure” has always been a common and undoubtedly true saying. However, there is still a gap on how Filipinos carry this saying in preparing to have kids and start a family.

Last July 23, 2016, VYLH-Philippines together with #HealthXPH conducted a TweetChat on Preconception Health (PreCon) for Birth Defects and Disability Prevention. According to the TweetChat statistics compiled using Symplur, the one hour tweetchat which started at exactly 9:00 in the evening peaked with 560 tweets on the topic coming from 37 participants composed of doctors, medicine students and health advocates.

Moderated by Former VYLH-Philippines National President Ryan Pascual (@rypascual) with guidance from HealthXPh core collaborator Dr. Gia Sison (@giasison), the TweetChat session explored the possible reasons why preconception health consultation and awareness is not popular and the reforms or possible activities that can be done to improve PreCon awareness. The utilization of social media in improving PreCon awareness was also discussed. 

The tweetchat is part of the 7th Founding Anniversary Week of VYLH-Philippines and the network's observance of National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week.