The Official Publication of Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health - Philippines

Team Proactive Kabilin, GeneSoc conduct “Araw ng Kabilin” for LB Nanays

LOS BANOS, LAGUNA - With a strong motivation to educate the women of Los Baños about preconception health, The UPLB Genetics Society (GeneSoc), as one of the member youth organizations of Team Proactive Kabilin, spearheaded “Araw ng Kabilin”, a preconception health fair held at the Municipal Hall of Los Baños, Laguna on July 20, 2017 (Thursday).

The “Araw ng Kabilin” is the culminating activity of Project Kabilin Kalusugan para sa LB Nanays, a youth-led initiative carried out by Team Proactive Kabilin and VYLH-Philippines, which seeks to promote public awareness on the importance of preconception health. The project drew inspiration from the absence of a preconception health program in the country. 

Project Kabilin Kalusugan is also the first community-based preconception health promotion program in the country.

Fourteen barangay health wokers who were previously trained by the team and 19 "nanays" from Brgy. Mayondon, the partner community of the project and other barangays of Los Baños attended the preconception fair. 

Project Kabilin Kalusugan is one of the finalists for the Ideas Positive (Run 7), a national competition organized by the Unilab Foundation which aims to stimulate and support youth projects that help solve public health concerns found in the community.

“Araw ng Kabilin” was launched alongside the observance of National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week which happened from July 19-23 of this year.

The term “Kabilin” is a Visayan term which means pamana or legacy. Combined with the term “Proactive”, it connotes that there is a need to safeguard and boost preconception health because it will soon have an impact on their health and their children. In addition to promoting informed and healthy choices, preconception health is important in the prevention of birth defects and pre-term births which can lead to infant death or long-term disabilities.

During the health fair, lectures were conducted regarding preconception health, importance of folic acid supplementation, newborn screening, and PhilHealth. The municipal health officer of Los Baños, Dr. Alvin Isidioro, graced the event and gave a message to the participants and project implementers.

The lecture on preconception health (PH) was given by Ms. Aster Lynn Sur, a registered nurse and Project Development Officer at the Institute of Human Genetics, National Institutes of Health - University of the Philippines Manila. Her talk delved into different scopes of PH such as preterm births, birth defects, and the LINC framework. 

LINC stands for healthy Lifestyle, Infection prevention, good Nutrition and Contraception or planning the family. The LINC or the four main aspects of preconception care was also used as the framework of the preconception health education sessions conducted in the community.

Preconception Health. Ms. Aster Lynn discussing the importance of having a good health before pregnancy.
Meanwhile, DOH NBS Program Nurse Coordinator for CALABARZON sir Jose Antonio Yap presented the second lecture which focused on the Newborn Screening Program (NBS). 

NBS is a medical program mandated by law under Republic Act 9288. It allows for the detection of some metabolic disorders that a newborn child could have. 

Mr. Yap, during his lecture, mentioned that newborn screening is very essential that it needs to be carried out 24 hours after birth.

Detecting Disorders. Mr. Jose Antonio Yap talks about the significance of Newborn Screening in newly-born infants.

He also underscored the six common metabolic disorders included in the basic NBS test namely: Congenital Hypothyroidism (CH), Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH), Galactosemia (GAL), Phenylketonuria (PKU), G6PD Deficiency (G6PDD), and Maple Syrup Urine Disease (MSUD). Aside from these six, 22 other disorders could also be detected through the expanded newborn screening test.

For the last lecture, Ms. Nancy L. Reyes, a representative of PhilHealth-Calamba, discussed the benefits and importance of being a member of PhilHealth. 

Ms. Reyes enumerated the in-patient benefits, out-patient benefits and Z-benefit package provided by PhilHealth. The Z benefits refer to those which can be availed for serious diseases or health conditions that require expensive treatment and medicine.

Insured Healthcare. Ms. Nancy L. Reyes speaking about the benefits that can be availed by being a PhilHealth member.
Besides these lectures, free-HIV testing was also conducted through the help of medical volunteers from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine. The participants also received brochures on the topics discussed. Personal hygiene kits were also distributed as part of the campaign to promote infection prevention and health care.

The program was organized by Team Proactive Kabilin which is composed of the following VYLH-Philippines Los Baños Chapter members: Jeanne Ruth Basas (Philippine Association of Nutrition Alpha Omega Chapter/PAN-AO), Manette Perez (PAN-AO), Joshua Hernandez (GeneSoc), Jedidiah Sarmiento (UP Community Broadcasters Society) and Angelica Obrador (Rotaract Club of Los Banos).

The team conducted the fair with the support of one of its partner organizations, The UPLB Genetics Society and following project partners: the Office of the Mayor, Municipal Health Office, Barangay Mayondon, Institute of Human Genetics, NIH-UP Manila, UP Los Banos Office of Student Affairs, and Ideas Positive of Unilab Foundation.

Written by Sean Santos (UPLB GeneSoc)
Originally published in GENEWS
The Official Publication of The UPLB Genetics Society

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