Roxas Memorial Provincial Hospital Launches Provincial NBS Satellite Clinic

Florence May P. Osano, RN

The Newborn Screening Satellite Clinic in Capiz was officially launched by the Department of Pediatrics of the Roxas Memorial Provincial Hospital (RMPH) on the 10th of December 2021.

Present during the activity were the hospital staff headed by Dr. Edmarie M. Tormon, OIC-Chief of Hospital II, the NBS Satellite Clinic Team, representatives from the Provincial DOH Office and Provincial Health Office, and selected OPD patients with their parents. Likewise, in full support was Hon. Esteban Evan B. Contreras, Governor, Province of Capiz, who through his short message emphasized the importance of NBS management to promote the healthy well-being of every Capiznon.

Capiz Province currently has sixty-eight (68) confirmed NBS patients, with Congenital Hypothyroidism (CH) having the most cases at fifty-eight (58). The full operationalization of the satellite clinic in Capiz shall provide identified NBS patients in the province and its neighboring areas with the opportunity to access timely and appropriate long-term follow-up services to include clinic consultations, assessment of developmental milestones, compliance to treatment and management, counseling services, and provision of appropriate medications, laboratories, other ancillary procedures, and services, among others.

Moreover, it shall spearhead information dissemination activities about NBS disorders among families of NBS cases, secure availability, and update patient records, and participate in activities spearheaded by the regional NBS team and program partners to discuss clinic operations and patient status.

The NBS Satellite Clinic at RMPH is one of the 14 satellite clinics in Western Visayas. The long-term follow-up team consists of Dr. Michelle Krafft and Ms. Elizabeth Lacson. The team caters to patients every 2nd Wednesday of the month, from 8:00 am-12:00 noon.

NSC-NIH holds its first online G6PD Deficiency Parents Webinar

Norrice F. Victorio, RN and Anna Lea G. Elizaga, MD

The Newborn Screening Center - NIH conducted its first G6PD Deficiency Webinar for Parents on December 17, 2021 via Zoom. In the previous years, the G6PD Deficiency Parents Seminar for National Capital Region, MIMAROPA and Bicol regions were conducted onsite annually and attended by parents of confirmed G6PD Deficiency cases. Due to the pandemic, the center decided to conduct the activity online for safety reasons and to reach and encourage more parents to attend.

The webinar invitation was extended not only to the parents of children with G6PD deficiency but also to parents of children initially screened deficient in G6PD and have not undergone confirmatory tests yet. Health personnel from the NSFs were also invited to attend. G6PD parent support groups assisted in disseminating the invitation to other parents, health facilities and confirmatory centers.

Invited as Guest Speaker for the webinar was Dr. Ma. Jasmin Gonzales-Ruiz, the current Chair of the G6PD Deficiency Experts Panel of the National Comprehensive Newborn Screening System. Dr. Gonzales-Ruiz focused on understanding what G6PD Deficiency is, its diagnosis, triggers, signs, and symptoms. She emphasized the need for and importance of doing a Confirmatory Test after receiving a positive newborn screening result. Gonzales-Ruiz also shared that only 27% or 50,527 had confirmatory tests out of 187,137 newborns screened positive for G6PD deficiency from January 2019 - June 2021 (NSRC data 2021).

The lecture was followed by an Open Forum moderated by the NSC-NIH Follow Up Head Dr. Alexandra Faye Cayabyab and Unit Head Dr. Anna Lea Elizaga.

The webinar concluded with the awarding of certificate and a post-activity evaluation.

Webinar on How to Spot Newborn Screening Samples

Norrice F. Victorio, RN and Anna Lea G. Elizaga, MD

As of December 2021, a total of 72 NSFs or 299 registered health workers benefited from ten (10) supplemental webinars on “How to Spot Newborn Screening Samples." This is part of the strategy of the Newborn Screening Center - NIH in decreasing the unfit samples due to sample contamination and insufficient blood collection, which cause delays in the timely screening of positive cases. A delay in screening prevents effective early treatment and management of positive cases, which could lead to poor health outcomes.

The webinars aimed to provide Newborn Screening Facilities (NSFs) personnel the skills and knowledge in identifying quality samples, familiarization of unfit and unsatisfactory samples, as well as proper techniques in the performance of sample collection.

The webinar series prioritized those NSFs with the highest number of unsatisfactory samples based on a quarterly review of NSFs data. This came as a result of the self-assessment tool conducted by NSC-NIH to all NSFs in the regions of NCR, MIMAROPA, and BICOL to know the issues and concerns at the NSF level. The webinar series was launched on August 8, 2021 and attended by the personnel from Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital.

The three-hour webinar consisted of lectures, workshop on sample identification via poll-voting, and presentation of NSF performance. Visually providing actual samples of both acceptable (quality) and unacceptable (unfit) samples offered a better understanding of how samples are classified and sorted at the NSC. The workshop introduced the participants to a method of objectively identifying a sample if it is fit for testing and carefully reassessing missed information or errors in demographic entry. This learning is developed as a routine check prior to sending the blood samples to the laboratory.

The same webinar was likewise integrated with the online Consultative Meetings done by the Center for Health Development (CHD)-MIMAROPA. NSC-NIH also took the opportunity to offer this learning activity to all our NSFs during the Newborn Screening Week.

The evaluation of the activity and the positive feedback received encouraged the NSC-NIH to offer more supplemental webinars in the different aspects of NBS implementation this 2022.

NSC-NIH continuously works with partners in the Department of Health - CHDs in providing creative technical assistance to facilities to further improve the program implementation.

Cagayan Valley Center for Health Development Conducts Photography and Vlogging Activities to Promote Newborn Screening

Novelyn C. Lacuanan,RN, MPBM-PA

Before 2021 ended, the Cagayan Valley Center for Health Development (CVCHD) Newborn Screening Program implementers held photography and vlogging contests that were participated in by the newborn screening facilities and families of saved babies in the region.

The photography contest titled “Capture Your Best Moment” showed photos of saved babies and their families. Entries were from the patients of the Cagayan Valley Medical Center (CVMC) Newborn Screening Continuity Clinic. Lance Adryan Balando won 1st place receiving Php 10,000.00 and tokens; Reynaldo Delfin won 2nd place with Php 7000.00 and tokens; and, Shamil Alberto won 3rd place with Php 5000.00 and tokens. All non-winning entries received a Php 1,000.00 consolation prize.

Novelyn C. Lacuanan, Regional Newborn Screening Coordinator, awarded the winners. Consolation prizes were given out through the assistance of CVMC nurse, Cristina S. Calimag. This was posted on the official Facebook page of CVCHD.

Meanwhile, the vlogging contest was dubbed “Moment Mo, I-vlog Mo” aimed to encourage the participating facilities to produce a vlog documenting innovations and best practices serving as a benchmark in the implementation of newborn screening services.

Ramon RHU and Birthing Center emerged as 1st place and received P20,000.00, certificate of appreciation, and tokens while Region 2 Trauma and Medical Center won 2nd place and received P15,000.00, certificate of appreciation, and tokens. Twenty-one other participants received a consolation prize of 5,000.00.

In addition, the CVCHD partnered with CVMC Newborn Screening Continuity Clinic to provide tokens such as pillows, blankets, and eco bags to the saved babies during their regular follow-up check-up.

Lastly, to commend the supporters of the program, newborn screening t-shirts were distributed to all Newborn Screening Coordinators and advocates through the assistance of the Provincial NBS Coordinators.

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