The Official Publication of Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health - Philippines

  • Youth for Health

    VYLH-Philippines is a network of pro-active, service-oriented youth leaders and youth organizations linked by the common interest of volunteerism and public service, to improve birth outcomes through advocacy.

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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Proactive Kabilin: Connecting Generations Through Preconception Health

Team Proactive Kabilin . From L to R: Ms. Aster Lynn Sur, Liabel Pena, Jeanne Ruth Basas, Jedidiah Sarmiento,
Angelica Obrador, Dr. Christian Gomez (Program Manager, Ideas Positive) (Photo: Ideas Positive/Unilab Foundation)

Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health - Los Baños Chapter (VYLH-LB) as Team Proactive Kabilin, earned a finalist spot in Unilab Foundation’s 7th Ideas Positive Run last February 7 to 11, 2017 during the Boot Camp held in Ace Hotel, Mandaluyong City.

The team comprised of members from four of seven partner organizations of VYLH-LB: Maria Liabel Peña, current VYLH-LB coordinator and VYLH Committee Head of The UPLB Genetics Society, Jeanne Ruth Basas, team leader of Team Proactive Kabilin, from Philippine Association of Nutrition Alpha Omega Chapter, Jedidiah Sarmiento from The UP Community Broadcasters’ Society Inc., and Angelica Obrador from the first community partner of VYLH-LB, the Rotaract Club of Los Banos; under the mentorship of Aster Lynn Sur, RN from UP Manila and VYLH. The project was aptly entitled Kabilin Kalusugan for LB Nanays. “Kabilin” is a bisayan term translated as “legacy,” which was also the batchname of the teammates during the VYLH’s first NCR-South Luzon Cluster Youth Camp last October 2016.

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Thursday, March 09, 2017

2016 Year-In-Review: Sustaining our Gains and Charting New Paths


On its 7th year, Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health (VYLH)-Philippines has gained new members and reached new milestones as it continued to advance the mission of empowering the Filipino youth for health. This year, the network made major strides in volunteer training, social media utilization, and fostering exchange and partnerships.

Training new volunteers

As part of an active effort of involving more youth to the advocacy, VYLH-Philippines introduced the network to youth leaders through local orientation sessions and youth camps. These volunteer training and formation activities were spearheaded by the four VYLH-Philippines clusters as a testament to unwavering commitment of the network to its mission of expanding its membership throughout the country.

Last March 2016, VYLH North and Central Luzon held an orientation on VYLH and its advocacies which was attended by youth leaders and department heads from six universities in Pangasinan. On the other hand, a two-day advocacy and leadership orientation was organized last November by VYLH Mindanao for the officers and members of Pag-asa Youth Association of the Philippines (PYAP)-Davao City Federation.

In addition to youth orientations, youth camps remain to be the major avenue of volunteer recruitment in the network. This year, VYLH was able to organize six youth camps. Briefly, a majority of these camps were regional camps (five out of six), with the most held in the Visayas (three out of six). Regional Youth Camps were held in Western Visayas in April; Central Visayas in August; Eastern Visayas in September; and, Central Luzon and CARAGA in October. Meanwhile, a cluster youth camp was organized by VYLH-Philippines NCR-South Luzon last October and this was participated by youth leaders from NCR, CaLaBaRZon and Bicol Region.

New milestones were achieved by the volunteers in these youth camps with the first regional camp organized in Eastern Visayas, and the successful conduct of youth camps in each of the regions of the Visayas Cluster – the first Cluster to complete a regional series in the network. On the other hand, this is the first time for NCR-South Luzon to hold a cluster youth camp after only having youth orientations in the past years.

In Mindanao, CARAGA volunteer youth leaders (VYLs) remain to be leaders and innovators with the first regional congress of CARAGA VYLs and third regional youth camp for the region. The congress gathered CARAGA volunteers from various VYLH batches since 2009.

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Saturday, December 10, 2016

Reunion of Saved Babies in San Juan City


SAN JUAN CITY - The Department of Health–National Capital Region Office, in partnership with the Newborn Screening Center–National Institutes of Health, gathered patients found positive in one of the disorders being screened for a reunion at the Greenhills Elan Hotel Modern, San Juan City, on November 26, 2016. 

The activity was attended by patients and parents of confirmed cases of Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase (G6PD) Deficiency, Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia, Congenital Hypothyroidism, Galactosemia, and Phenylketonuria. This year’s reunion focused on social interaction among participants with various games, music, charades, puzzles, and other fun activities.

The Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health–South Luzon Cluster volunteers, led by Aster Lynn Sur and Rufus Adducul, joined in and facilitated the break-out sessions. Also, Dr. Anna Lea Elizaga gave a lecture to the parents on expanded newborn screening. NVictorio

Written by Norrice Victorio
Published in Newborn Screening, the official newsletter
of the Newborn Screening Reference Center (NSRC)
November-December 2016 Issue
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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

VYLH-Philippines holds Youth Camp in Clark


CLARK, PAMPANGA - To strengthen volunteerism and expand the network of youth leaders who help increase public awareness on newborn screening (NBS) and other health issues, the Department of Health–Regional Office (DOH-RO) 3, in collaboration with the Newborn Screening Center–Central Luzon (NSC-CL), organized a camp for the Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health (VYLH) titled “Kabilin: Revolutionizing Health Promotion through Youth Participation” at the Stotsenberg Hotel in Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga, on October 13-14, 2016.



Student leaders from different universities and members of the Nurse Deployment Program (NDP) in Central Luzon were invited to participate and were introduced to VYLH and its advocacies. Afterward, the participants worked in groups for the leadership training and team building activities. During the socials night, cultural presentations were performed by the different groups. 

On the second day, regional officers were elected. Provincial VYLH coordinators and assistant coordinators were elected as follows: Al Francis Yapes for Aurora, Jenalyn Baluyot for Bataan, Mark Anthony Tapispisan for Bulacan, Ella Lavina Domingo for Nueva Ecija, Edison Obsena for Olongapo City (Zambales), Aileen Magcalas for Pampanga, and Elvin Plantilla for Tarlac. 



Invited speakers include DOH-RO 3 NBS Coordinator Madeline Gayle Tayag who presented the current health situation of the country, DOH programs, and updates on NBS in the region, and NSC-CL Unit Head Dr. Marie Adrianne Salunga who discussed the Expanded Newborn Screening program.

As culminating activity, the participants devised plans to promote the advocacies of the organization. The plans were presented to a panel of reactors from NSC-CL and DOH-RO 3 for critique and recommendations. The program ended with a symbolic imprinting of hand marks to indicate their full commitment to the VYLH network. 

Words and photos Nikki Dela Cruz
Published in Newborn Screening (The Official Newsletter of the Newborn Screening Reference Center)


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Friday, November 25, 2016

VYLH-Philippines, UNILAB Foundation hold iStorya for NCR youth

MANILA – Last October 15, 2016, UNILAB Foundation together with Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health (VYLH)-Philippines hosted the National Capital Region-leg of ISTORYA: Stories of Youth in Action at the National Institutes of Health Conference Room, UP Manila. The event open to youth age 18-30 years old was participated by students and representatives of organizations from UP Manila and Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM). Representatives of various College-Y Clubs also attended the event as part of the YMCA-Manila delegation.

iStorya-NCR Parctipants sport the "Istorya Pose" together with the organizing team from
VYLH-Philippines and Ideas Positive. (Photo: Ideas Positive/UNILAB Foundation)
As envisioned by the UNILAB Foundation, iStorya is a platform and youth-led conversation where Filipino youth leaders can come together and exchange innovative ideas on how to solve different public health issue in their community. 

The said activity also aims to increase participation to Ideas Positive, a nationwide youth program of the same foundation that enables youth leaders to implement their ideas in their selected community. In the contest, teams with the best ideas will undergo mentoring at the Ideas Positive Boot Camp and receive up to 100,000 pesos seed money for their projects. 
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Monday, November 21, 2016

Rare disease advocacy takes center stage at 2016 NBS Convention

PASAY CITY -  Last October 24-25, the Newborn Screening Society of the Philippines (NSSP) and the Newborn Screening Reference Center (NSRC-NIH, UPM) gathered 1800 professionals, practitioners, guests, and newborn screening advocates for the 14th National Newborn Screening (NBS) Convention at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City. The convention was even made more special with the celebration of the first two decades of newborn screening in the Philippines as reflected on its theme “Celebrating 20 years of Newborn Screening towards Overall Screening and Management”.
PSOD President Cynthia Magdaraog and
her son, rare disease patient-advocate
Juan Benedicto "Dickoy".
Photo: H&L Philippines


During the convention, local and international speakers shared implementation strategies, developments and recent technologies in newborn screening. Among the plenary speakers was Philippine Society for Orphan Disorders (PSOD) President Mrs. Cynthia Magdaraog who encouraged everyone in attendance not only to advocate for newborn screening but also for rare diseases.

At present, three out of the six conditions in the 6-test newborn screening panel fit to the current accepted definition of a rare disease in the Philippines - a condition with a prevalence of 1 in 20,000 or lower. These include Galactosemia, Phenylketonuria and Maple Syrup Urine Disease. With the recent introduction of expanded newborn screening, it is now possible to detect more than 20 additional rare disorders, as well as provide timely and appropriate treatment for these conditions.

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Sunday, November 20, 2016

14th National Newborn Screening Convention: Celebrating 20 Years of Newborn Screening

PASAY CITY- It was a cloudy afternoon but it didn’t hinder to unite more than 1,800 health professionals, advocates and guests from different regions of the country to gather and celebrate the first two decades of Newborn Screening (NBS) in the Philippines. 

This year’s NBS convention with the theme, “Celebrating 20 Years of Newborn Screening towards Overall Screening and Management”, was held on October 25 and 26 at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), Pasay City. The event annually organized by the Newborn Screening Society of the Philippines Inc. (NSSPI) and Newborn Screening Reference Center (NSRC)-National Institute of Health (NIH), University of the Philippines – Manila aims to update stakeholders through talks by invited local and international experts and unite newborn screening advocates.

Day One (October 25)

The President of NSSPI, Dr. Ephraim Neal Orteza cordially welcomed the delegates. Followed by special messages delivered by Dr. Eva Maria Cutiongco de la Paz, Vice-Chancellor for Research of UP Manila and Executive Director of National Institutes of Health and Department of Social Welfare and Development Undersecretary Florita Villar, on behalf of Secretary Judy Taguiwalo. Usec. Villar emphasized health as one of the rights of the children that needs to be protected. Dr. Lyndon Lee Suy, Director of Disease Prevention and Control Bureau of the Department of Health (DOH), previewed DOH’s comprehensive range of programs for newborns through his keynote address on behalf on Department of Health Secretary Dr. Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial. 



The first plenary session was led by Dr. Carmencita Padilla, Chancellor of UP Manila and pillar of the implementation of NBS in the country. She vividly discussed the challenges and successes in the past 20 years and presented a preview into the next 20 years of national program. Dr. Padilla also highlighted the milestones of NBS implementation including the developments in neighboring Asian countries.

“I can proudly say that this is a successful program because of volunteerism, whether resulting from professional feeling of national responsibility or a simple desire to do good” said Dr. Padilla as she acknowledged the contribution of health workers and advocates. She also encouraged everyone to advocate for the promotion of Expanded Newborn Screening (ENBS). The launch of ENBS last December 2014 has allowed the testing of 22 additional disorders aside from the basic panel of six disorders namely Congenital Hypothyroidism (CH), Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH), Phenylketonuria (PKU), G6PD Deficiency (G6PDD), Galactosemia, and Maple Syrup Urine Disease (MSUD).

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