Reunion of Saved Babies in the Central Visayas

Jaika Jel D. Besira, RN, MMHA

The annual celebration of Reunion of Saved Babies resumed after two years in Central Visayas.

The Department of Health - Central Visayas Center for Health Development (DOH - CV CHD) in collaboration with Newborn Screening Continuity Clinic - Central Visayas (NSCC-CV) and Center for Human Genetics Services for Visayas (CHGSV) conducted the event on the following schedules: Negros Oriental and Siquijor Provinces – October 14, 2022 at Dumaguete Royal Suites Inn, Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental; October 27, 2022 at Reyna’s the Haven and Gardens, Tagbilaran City, Bohol; and, November 18, 2022 at Sarrosa International Hotel and Residential Suites, Cebu City.

A total of 120 patients with either endocrine, metabolic, and hemoglobin disorders were in attendance, all accompanied by their parents and health workers from different LGUs.

The Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health (VYLH) - Negros Oriental Chapter kept the attendees entertained with games, prizes, and musical numbers.

One of the highlights of the event was the evaluation and counseling for the metabolic patients by Center for Human Genetics Services - Central Visayas team led by Dr. Barbra Charina Cavan. Testimonies from parents recounted experiences from the time they learned that their babies had the disorder to their journey in raising them as normal children. Gift packs and hygiene kits for the parents and toys for the kids were distributed. It was a day of laughter, fun, family bonding, and thanksgiving for the unwavering commitment and support to the program.

Every year, the Newborn Screening team of Central Visayas hosts this reunion to celebrate the lives of these children. It also aims to foster camaraderie among parents. It provides parents a forum to share personal experiences and feelings, coping strategies, and any information related to their children’s medical condition and treatment.


Top photo (L-R): Patients, parents, health workers, and representatives from Cebu Province's partner agencies all smiled during the photo opportunity; Parents have fun during the games facilitated by the VYLH - Negros Oriental Chapter. Bottom photo: Participants and organizers of the Reunion of Saved Babies in Bohol Province pose during the event, which was held at Reyna's the Haven and Gardens in Tagbilaran City; Children prepare for the talent show as part of the reunion’s activity.

Department of Health Central Visayas Center for Health Development resumes the Annual Newborn Screening Fun Run

Jaika Jel D. Besira, RN, MMHA

The Newborn Screening Program of the Department of Health - Central Visayas Center for Health Development (DOH - CV CHD) is back on the road with its 6th Annual Newborn Screening Fun Run in cooperation with the Bohol Provincial Health Office (PHO) in Tagbilaran City, Bohol. It aimed to increase awareness on the importance of screening newborn babies for early detection and management of disorders included in the expanded newborn screening panel. Hence, it promotes maternal and child health through health education.

The fun run took place on the 22nd of October with a total of 416 participants including officials and staff from DOH CV CHD and Bohol PHO, DOH Hospital and Private Institutions' Personnel, Provincial and Local Health Officials, and other government agencies. The event was also streamed live through the official Facebook page of DOH CV CHD. The program started at 5:00 o'clock am with a 30-minute Zumba dance workout prior to the 4K kilometer run trailing through the streets of J.A. Clarin, J.S. Torralba and PG Avenue.

Tagbilaran City Mayor, Jane Censoria C. Yap commended the Department of Health, Provincial Government of Bohol, Provincial Health Office, Tagbilaran City Health Office, the organizers, and the participants for the successful event.

"This activity is important in the promotion of Newborn Screening in Tagbilaran City and in the Province of Bohol. We know that Newborn Screening is essential in saving the lives of babies from metabolic and genetic diseases where rapid identification and treatment makes a difference between health and disability or even life and death. This fun run allows us to increase public awareness and encourage pregnant women and their families to prepare for Newborn Screening.” Yap said.

The event culminated with the awarding of winners. The top three male and female finishers were awarded with giveaways, gift certificates, and medals. The rest of the 190 finishers were also given a finisher's medal. After the run, different health services such as expanded newborn screening, tooth extraction, fluoride application, and blood pressure taking were offered for free.

FunRun CV

Top photo (L-R) The male category winners pose for a photo: 3rd Place - Dr. Normandy Albuera; 1st Place - Mr. Candelario Logroo; 2nd Place - Mr. Rainfred Galanida); 30-minute Zumba prepped the participants before the gun start. Bottom photo: 1st place winner for female category competition receives a gold medal, a gift check for Php 3,000.00, an NBS thermal bag, and a t-shirt; Participants get ready for the gun start under the guidance of the Provincial Youth Development Office of Bohol.

Central Luzon resumes face-to-face training programs

Nikki D. Dela Cruz, RN

As pandemic-related restrictions ease, the DOH-Central Luzon Center for Health Development, together with the Newborn Screening Center – Central Luzon, resumes face-to-face training programs for newborn screening facilities (NSFs) in the region. Three on-site trainings were held in the provinces of Bataan, Nueva Ecija, and Bulacan from October to December 2022.

The first onsite training conducted was held in Mariveles, Bataan with four newborn screening facilities (NSFs) participating: Mariveles Mental Wellness and General Hospital, Balanga Medical Center Corporation, Centro Medico De Santisimo Rosario, Inc., and Jose C. Payumo Jr. Memorial Hospital. The second on-site training was hosted by Don Juan C. Cojuangco Memorial Health Center and was participated in by health care providers from various rural health units in Nueva Ecija. Likewise, NBS staff from Ofelia L. Mendoza Maternity and General Hospital in Bulacan were trained on Expanded Newborn Screening.

An on-site training is a two-day activity attended by health workers from the requesting newborn screening facility. The activity aims to increase the number of trained health care providers to lead their newborn screening teams in sending quality samples and to attain a hundred percent coverage in their respective health facilities.


Top photo (L-R): Participants of the onsite training in Bataan; A health professional explains the importance and process of newborn screening to a new parent. Bottom photo: Health care providers from various rural health units in Nueva Ecija attend newborn screening training at Don Juan C. Cojuangco Memorial Health Center; Participants pay close attention while the program is introduced at the training in Bataan.

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