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.

  • Promoting Volunteerism

    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.

  • A Culture of Concern and Commitment

    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.

  • Moving towards the Communities

    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.

  • Glocal and Proud to be Filipino

    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.

Monday, December 09, 2013

Philippines wow International Communities for ICBD 2013

Written by Stanley Gajete
VYLH-UP Los Baños Alumnus (Batch I3)

Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health - Philippines volunteers conquered the ICBD stage during the opening ceremonies.

Albeit the fact that Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) hurtled the central part of the Philippines, particularly the Visayan Region, the international community visited the country to attend 6th International Conference on Birth Defects and Disabilities in the developing world, Shangri-La Mactan, Cebu, November 10-13.

Filipinos warmly welcomed foreign participants despite the cold waters dotted brought by the super typhoon especially in Tacloban City, and the rest of Samar and strong winds throttled, which created huge woes among fellow bisayans, since it made its first landfall on November 8.

The opening ceremony of 6th ICBD at Marquee Ballroom,
Shangrila-Mactan, Cebu, Philippines, November 10-13, 2013
attended by international health experts to communicate
best practices on birth defects and medical genetics
(Stanley Gajete)
This year’s conference theme was “Embedding Birth Defects in the Continuum of Care,” attended by at most 80 guests from 50 different countries. Across continents, experts from the medical field proudly laid their national costumes as part of the opening ceremony to represent their respective countries.

Dr. Carmencita Padilla messaged the fellows that despite the effects of the super typhoon Yolanda to swept areas, moving forward is an essential tool to replenish the wounds brought by the disaster. Dr. Padilla is this year’s overall ICBD 2013 chair, and the current director of the Newborn Screening Reference Center of the National Institutes of Health, UP-Manila.

With the sound of cultural-centric music reverberated inside the hall, Dr. Padilla, along with Mr. Christopher Howson, the Vice-President for Global Programs of March of Dimes Foundation, and co-chair of ICBD 2014 gonged the instrument, to formally open the said convention. The VYLH-Philippines members performed on stage with colorful linen folk dance performance showing majestic Filipino culture that brought smiles to all due to its stunning routines.

The evening program burned with first medical speech from Joe Leigh Simpson of USA as he explained the importance of Genomics as a tool for medical genetics and birth defects.

Speaks for the change

The second day of the said international convention focused on the special topics and projects proposed and/or implemented related to genomes, genetics, and health issues especially on infant birth defects, its opportunities and challenges.

Senator Pia Cayetano served as one of the main guest speakers for the morning program, as she explained the importance of rare disease awareness, and infant-health advocacy, remembering as one of the main advocates of women’s rights and reproductive health law in the country.

Dr. Carmencita Padilla of the Philippines also shared some of the best practices in promoting good health especially in detecting birth defects in the country, alongside with the efforts being done by the Department of Health and the University of the-Philippines Manila.

Birth defects surveillance in the Asia Pacific was the main highlight of the morning session, as different countries in the Asian continent laid down the efforts being practiced by health agencies in their respective countries.

Posters presenting some of the great research findings in the context of social and scientific issues in genetics and biological presence on research development were also presented in the exhibit.

Parallel sessions

 Following days were used on parallel sessions due to overwhelming research trends of different science experts around the world, specifically in birth defects surveillance and registration, cause and prevention of birth defects, prenatal and maternal care, role of parents in planning and delivering services, and networks and issues, challenges, and strategies of different countries towards better health, as programs claimed.

VYLH-Philippines former President Ryan John Pascual was also acknowledged because of the presentation of the efforts of youth to communicate advocacies in different communities around the country, and its successful exercise to continuously campaign its advocacies for different sectors.

VYLH-Philippines is known for its three main advocacies; folic acid campaign, newborn screening, and rare diseases awareness which create huge impacts in the country because of the efforts of the members, following its advocacies of serving the nation towards better health care, with its Filipino youth members.

Endless smile happened due to Fellowship night after serious talks of the whole day, November 12, where Filipino fiesta was the core of the event.

The message

ICBD 2014 colored the message not only to explain the practices of the medical field in communicating the relevance of infant health on all sectors but also to encourage and embrace the youth to make successive efforts to communicate effectively.

The event ended with technical and scientific ideas in the pack, gained from days of serious talks and plenary sessions on engaging into more trends to save million of babies with defects, following the target of UN Millennium Development Goals, and sharing the best practices of different countries.

Vietnam was announced as the next host of ICBD.

VYLH-Philippines volunteers together with the network's secretariat and
VYLH co-founding adviser, Dr. Merlyn Mendioro (IBS-UPLB).
Stanley Gajete is a BS Development Communication (major in Community Broadcasting) graduate from the University of the Philippines Los Baños. He is also a proud alumnus of The UP Community Broadcaster's Society. At present, he currently works at the News and Current Affairs Division of ABS-CBN.


A Letter of Appreciation

Written by Louigie Boy "Jeb" Saludar
PYAP Davao, K4

Jeb Saludar
There’s much I have to say about my experiences to the Third National Leadership Congress of Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health Philippines, but first THANK YOU.

Thank you to Dr. Conchita (Tita Conch) Abarquez for inviting me to be a part of the 3rd Congress. Thank you to the entire Newborn Screening Center – Mindanao for believing in my capacity to do volunteerism in our advocacy. The sheer logistics of getting us all from one place to another, and with all the materials we needed such as the brochures, posters and others including moral and spiritual supports. Thank you to my co-delegates in Mindanao; Shane, Ram, Aple,  Sassy, Khen, Jash, Kuya Anthon, Zaldy, Kat, Mark and Robin who were willing to get in a plane or car and travel great distances to hear what I have to say and see how I work  with rare orphan disorders in the community. I really felt their warm welcome and was able to communicate and relate with one another as we share the same goals in achieving our advocacy. They were not only open-minded people, but were also able to resist as necessary with their incisive questions in order to improve our efforts. An added bonus was the one of a kind experience having been in the country’s famous hotels and dined in first class restaurants especially the Shangri-La Hotel and Spa. It was an amazing experience to be with you all. 

As the congress went by, I really felt the presence of the almighty God, amidst the ranging surge brought by super typhoon Yolanda and damaging the island’s natural beauty. He provided us the safer place to stay upon and brought us warmth and comfort through our Tito’s and Tita’s. After what had happened, I really believed that our prayer is more powerful than any other tool, its water proof and cannot be overpowered. 

VYLH-Mindanao volunteers together with Dr. Conchita Abarques

Finally, on the last day some of the VYLH delegates went home. Thanks to the March of Dimes and Institute of Human Genetics for choosing me as one of the Philippine Delegates for the International Conference of Birth Defects and Disability in the Developing World on the same venue. The conference theme was Embedding Birth Defects in the Continuum of Care on November 10-13, 2013.  I had a wonderful experience meeting foreign delegates from other countries and the Global Networks of Newborn Screening Centers, attending workshops with wholly calibrated speakers. Of course, I have had met different medical professionals including the infamous father of Birth Defect Surveillance, Prof. Pierpaolo Mastroiacovo. I was also able to befriend with Dr. Sely Akbar from Indonesia, who have been closest to me for the entire conference. 

I felt a lot of heart and overwhelming compassion in the said event; And so, in behalf of the City Government of Davao and the Office of the Department Head II of City Social Services and Development Office, Thank you so much for the loaded experience and surely we will continue to advocate “Kabataang Dabawenyo, Kabataang Pinoy!”. Maraming Salamat Po!

Jeb Saludar is currently employed as a Technical Staff at the City Social Services and Development Office of the City Government of Davao. He is also one of the Regional Lead Conveners of the 10th National Youth Parliament and the current Secretary-General of PAG-ASA Youth Association of the Philippines (PYAP) in Davao City. Jeb became affiliated to the network during the Mindanao Island-wide Youth Camp held in 2010.


Saturday, October 19, 2013

VYLH-Philippines Takes NBS Week 2013 Coast to Coast

Written by Christine Querubin
Cluster Coordinator
VYLH-Philippines NCR-South Luzon

It was truly a nationwide event.

The Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health (VLYH)–Philippines kicked off this year’s Newborn Screening
(NBS) Week with a bang as volunteers from all over the country united via social media campaigns and
simultaneous distribution of NBS pink brochures.

The Network’s members changed their profile pictures to an NBS-themed photo on Facebook and tweeted daily posts about NBS with the hashtag #NBSsaves on Twitter and other social media platforms from October 1 to 5. (Related Post: NBS Week 2013 Activities)


Monday, September 30, 2013

GeneSoc Holds Third National Intercollegiate Genetics Quiz Contest

Written by Chembie Almazar
VYLH-UP Los Baños

NIGQ 2013: A Success (L) NIGQC participants with the members of The UPLB Genetics Society;
(R) The winning team from Ateneo de Manila University
Because quiz contests never go out of style.

The University of the Philippines Los Baños Genetics Society (UPLB GeneSoc) conducted a competitive meeting of the minds during the Third National Intercollegiate Genetics Quiz Contest (NIGQC) last September 14, 2013, at Drilon Hall, SEARCA, UPLB.

Ten universities from all over the country participated in the contest, namely, Ateneo de Manila University, Central Mindanao University, University of the East, University of the Philippines Diliman, University of the Philippines Manila, University of the Philippines Visayas–Tacloban College, University of Santo Tomas, St. Louis University, St. Scholastica’s College Manila, and West Visayas State University.


Saturday, September 28, 2013

More than a test: Interesting facts about Newborn Screening

Health Promotion Update No. 3 - Series 2013
Health Promotion and Advocacy Working Group
Updated 28 September

In celebration of the 2013 Newborn Screening Week, VYLH-Philippines will be posting interesting facts and trivias about Newborn Screening in our Official Facebook Account. These updates will also be compiled in this blog post. 

Photo credits: Baby's First Test 
2013 marks 50 years of saving lives through newborn screening. (Posted 28 September 2013)

In 1963, Dr. Guthrie’s method of testing was finally published in the journal Pediatrics. The Guthrie test is a microbiological assay for the presence of phenylalanine, phenylpyruvate, and phenyllactate in blood or urine. In the same year, the field trial was completed and this pushed the USA Children's Bureau to adopt the slogan, "Test Every Newborn For PKU."

This discovery marked the beginning of NBS - a simple test that has changed and saved lives.

Did you know that...

Newborn bloodspot screening (NBS) was only introduced in the Philippines in 1996?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

VYLH-Philippines pilots a Hospital-based organization: The VSH experience

Written by Robin Charles Ramos

It has been the mission of the Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health-Philippines to expand its network all over the country. Likewise, it has been the desire of every volunteer to help in involving additional youth leaders and organizations to the advocacy. In the past, the network has focused on reaching to school and community-based organizations.

With these, I sought the opportunity to orient and train the nurses of Valencia Sanitarium and Hospital Foundation, Inc. (VSH) and  to create an NBS Team in the hospital. Through their active participation, the plan to pilot a hospital-based organization, a VYLH-Philippines Hospital Chapter, materialized. This type of local network of volunteers and health providers aims to empower its members in influencing the whole community of Valencia and its neighboring municipalities in Bukidnon. This will be possible in the participation of volunteers in the medical outreach and strategic programs conducted by the hospital. Through these ride-on activities, volunteers can easily promote not only newborn screening but also other advocacies of the Network, such as folic acid supplementation and support to Filipinos with rare disorders.
(Read more on VYLH-Philippines Advocacies).


Promoting NBS Awareness through Hospital-based Strategies

Written by Robin Charles Ramos 

Saving the future of our babies lies in our hands.

Undergoing newborns to the newborn screening test (NBS) partially fulfills what has been agreed in the Fourth Millenium Development Goal (MDG) – Reduce Child Mortality. Through the program, we can save lives of our children through early detection of metabolic disorders. Congenital metabolic disorders are genetic diseases which do not physically manifest at birth but can lead to detrimental effects to the child such as mental retardation or death. These effects can only be averted with early detection and therapy. 

As a VYLH-Philippines volunteer, my active involvement in the advocacy, since I was trained to educate people especially the youth about the program, has allowed me to find my niche. Though I am not a medical or health professional, I see the importance of participation by playing an important role in educating the community about the program and its importance. I believe that relevant and basic information is the key towards successfully reaching zero-rate newborn fatality and a hundred percent newborn screening coverage.

Valencia Sanitarium and Hospital Foundation in Valencia City, Bukidnon
(Photo Credits: VSH Facebook Page)

Monday, September 16, 2013

Valencia Sanitarium and Hospital spearheads G6PD Forum

Written by Robin Charles Ramos
Originally Published in VSH's Lifeline Weekly Vo. 1 No. 15

Sixty-five parents and their children participated in the 1st G6PD Forum spearheaded by VSH on August 29, 2013 at the VSH Conference Room. Out of the 80 VSH G6PD deficiency cases confirmed through newborn screening, 30 were being represented by either a parent or a close relative. The rest of the 65 participants came from other health facilities within Valencia City

We felt a great need to promote newborn screening and at the same time answer the many questions lingering in the minds of parents with G6PD deficient children. And we felt that organizing this forum will be a big help", Mrs. Lylibeth Halasan, the VSH Chief Medtech and one of the main organizers of the program explained". As such, we invited Dr. Conchita G. Abarquez, a pediatrician and the only geneticist in Mindanao to be our guest speaker", she added. Dr. Abarquez currently heads the Newborn Screening CenterMindanao based in Davao City.


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

VYLH expands network in UP Diliman

Written by Gina Valera

The Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health (VYLH) UP Diliman Chapter conducted an orientation for invited university organizations last August 16 at the Institute of Biology Pav 4. The event was attended by 32 students from UP Diliman belonging to six different organizations namely: UP Psychology Society, UP Buklod-Isip, UP Red Cross Youth, UP Zoological Society, UP Pre-Medical Honor Society, and Philippine Association of Nutrition – Alpha.


Monday, September 09, 2013

Med Mission 2013: Lingkod-Alay ng GeneSoc

Written by Gessa Ramos

Last July 28, one of the pioneer organizations of VYLH-Philippines and the coordinating group of the UP Los Banos (UPLB) Chapter, The UPLB Genetics Society (GeneSoc), conducted its annual medical mission at Barangay Bagong Silang, Los Banos, Laguna - a community located within the Mt. Makiling Forest Reserve which can only be reached through a horse backride or a hike. GeneSoc's Medical Mission was held in connection with the organization’s outreach program and advocacies. 


Thursday, August 22, 2013

All set for Expanded Screening Program

Health Promotion Update No. 2 – Series 2013
Health Promotion and Advocacy Working Group

Newborn Screening Newsletter (March-April 2013 Issue)

Photo credits: Newborn Screening Reference Center

To save more babies, the Department of Health (DOH) Advisory Committee on Newborn Screening (ACNBS) has approved the implementation of the expanded newborn screening. Starting January 2014, the expanded panel will include hemoglobinopathies and additional metabolic disorders, namely, organic acid, fatty acid oxidation, and amino acid disorders. All these conditions can be treated at birth, avoiding complications of no treatment.

Data of Filipino newborns screened in the California newborn screening program from 2005 to 2009 have prompted the formal recommendation of expanded newborn screening program in the Philippines to the ACNBS on January 16, 2012. The data revealed that of the 111,127 Filipino newborns screened, more than 20 disorders were identified to be present—a mix of endocrinologic and metabolic conditions as well as hemoglobinopathies. The necessary confirmatory centers and network for referral, management, and treatment of patients are now being set up in strategic areas in the country. The DOH already has a list of nominated hospitals to house the Newborn Screening Follow-up Clinics (NFCs) . The establishment of NFCs will ensure capable management of identified positive cases.

Initially, one NFC will be setup per region. The NFCs will coordinate with a team of specialists and subspecialists. Due to the shortage of some of the subspecialists, teleconsultations will be one of the features of this clinic.A more intensive advocacy to reach the general public will be launched on October 2013, targeting provincial and marginalized urban communities with a high rate of homebirth needs. A new set of campaign materials will be released, emphasizing the value of responsible parenthood.

Expanded newborn screening will be optional and will be offered to parents in all participating facilities with the following options:

Option 1: Six (6) disorders (CH, CAH, GAL, PKU, G6PD, and MSUD) at P 550.
Option 2: The full complement of the disorders at P 1,500

The cost of newborn screening, which is now at P 550, is presently included in the newborn care package for members of PhilHealth. There are ongoing discussions with PhilHealth management to increase the subsidy for the expanded newborn screening. VMendoza

Ms. Vina Mendoza is the Managing Editor of Newborn Screening, the official newsletter and bimonthly publication of the Newborn Screening Reference Center - National Institutes of Health, UP Manila.

Visit, the Official Website of the Newborn Screening Reference Center to get the latest copy of Newborn Screening.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Youth on fire: VYLH marks four years of advocating health

Written by Joan Mae Barredo*

July 18, 2009. A challenge was accepted.

July 18, 2013. Four years after, the commitment, our commitment, is still on fire. Igniting, better than ever. Young health advocates all over the nation came together as we celebrated the Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health or the VYLH-Philippines’s fourth anniversary. Distance was not even a hindrance as VYLH from different clusters—Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao—bonded in solidarity as we commemorated our four years of health advocacies, four years of volunteerism, and four years of solid friendship.

“As we celebrate our 4th anniversary in our own unique and creative ways, may it be true to all to light four white candles representing our growth, and fly four VYLH colored balloons, where our wishes are tied,” states VYLH Philippines President Christian Emmanuel Enriquez.

VYLH-Philippines Annual Skype Gathering
 (Photo credits: Ms. Anna Lea Millares RN, inset)

United by the common objective to empower the youth for health and the goal to have a more health-conscious community, youth leaders gathered in each cluster marked VYLH’s four years through simple gatherings, happy chitchats via Skype, and commemorative “selfies” posted on Facebook days before the actual celebration.

Youth Leaders’ says

Christine Querubin, VYLH NCR Vice President enthuses, “friendship is one of the greatest treasures in life and I have gained hundreds of amazing friends because  of VYLH. The best part is that we share the collective desire to become harbingers of change and for four years now, we have become the change we want to see in the world.”

Irish Faith, from VYLH Mindanao, agrees through sturdy statements, “VYLH: good desire, good constituent, strong connection.” Remarkable events and accomplishments have colored the past four vibrant years of VYLH: a youth camp in Tagaytay, another three cluster-wide camps in different areas in the country, two nationwide congresses, among others. Amidst these gatherings, there’s the diverse activities each volunteer conducts in various institutions and communities, carrying VYLH’s three main advocacies: folic acid awareness campaign, newborn screening promotion, and orphan disorders support. This November, VYLH will once again exhibit the magnitude of deed youth can do during the International Conference on Birth Defects and Disabilities which will be held in Cebu.

We continue to expand and reach more volunteer youth leaders in every corner of the country, all in the name of a more informed and healthy Philippines. And as we embark the next four years and more of our journey, we remain steadfast to the commitment we have made during that rainy day, 18th of July, four years ago.

Related video: Anniversary Greeting from VYLH-Philippines National and Cluster Advisers

*Joan Mae Barredo is the former Coordinator for Advocacy and Development of the Social Awareness and Community Service Involvement (SACSI) Office of Ateneo de Zamboanga University (ADZU). She finished her BS Mass Communications degree in ADZU last 2011. Joan became affiliated to VYLH-Philippines as a representative of her university to the 2010 VYLH-Philippines Mindanao Island-wide Camp.
**Video credits: Christine Querubin and Joan Barredo

Saturday, July 13, 2013

VYLH-Philippines Fourth Anniversary Message from the National President

Indeed we have come a long way.

As we celebrate this year’s growth, I would like to share four points that I think we should remember.

Let us value the things that matters. Each of us has different experiences as volunteers. May we value the real essence of what we are fighting for.  May we also value the people who are with us as we move forward, and value the growth we have had for the last four years.

May we continue to have a strong and genuine desire to continue what we have started despite the difficulties and struggles we face in everyday. May we yearn to do more, to give more, to share more, and to live more for the good of oneself and others.

May we seek not just knowledge but rather wisdom for all the experiences that we have. May we continue to learn from each other’s stories and challenges.  May we continue to advocate the power of the youth to educate and become agents of change for a better, brighter and healthier Philippines.  And, may we continuously seek to learn and not limit ourselves to what we are accustomed to.

May we find hope amongst ourselves that despite the difficulties and challenges of being one at all times. May we find hope in the cause that we are fighting for, and draw strength from within as we continue to move forward towards further growth and development.  May we also find hope from every individual that we meet because there will come a time that things will be better off as they are now.

As we celebrate our 4th anniversary in our own unique and creative ways, may it be true to all to light four white candles representing our growth, and fly four VYLH colored balloons, where our wishes are tied, before sun sets at the end of this week.

May every VYLH cluster/division let go of their wishes for the organization and offer the purest of our intentions to the Almighty.

My heartfelt gratitude for the opportunity of being one among the few to be part of an organization one can always be proud to call our own despite the distance or challenges which everyone may find on their way back to a place we call home.

Happy 4th Anniversary VYLH!

In humble representation of your great accomplishments, my salutations and congratulations for another successful year full of values, yearning, learning and hope

With much honor,

Christian Emmanuel "Kuya Emman" P. Enriquez RN
VYLH-Philippines National President

Originally posted at the President's Facebook account.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Enhancing Case Detection of Selected Inherited Disorders through Expanded Newborn Screening in the Philippines

Health Promotion Update No. 1 – Series 2013
Health Promotion and Advocacy Working Group

Acta Medica Philippina 47(1) 2013

Carmencita D. Padilla*1,2
*Tomas B. Aguirre Professorial Chair in Pediatrics

1Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine and Philippine General Hospital, University of the Philippines Manila
2Newborn Screening Reference Center, National Institutes of Health, University of the Philippines Manila

Background. Newborn screening in the Philippines currently includes screening for 6 disorders – congenital hypothyroidism (CH), congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH), phenylketonuria (PKU), glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency, galactosemia (GAL) and maple syrup urine disease (MSUD). With improved newborn screening technologies, the potential of screening more than 70 disorders has become a possibility. Worldwide, there has been a move towards increasing the number of disorders included in newborn screening panels. The California Newborn Screening Program (CNSP) screens for over 70 disorders and its database includes a large number of Filipino newborns.

Objectives.  To describe the profile of Filipino newborns screened through the CNSP and to extrapolate these data to the Philippine newborn population in order to assess the potential value of expanding the Philippine newborn screening program.

Methods.  The newborn screening database of the CNSP was reviewed. Projections based on the California data were made relative to expanded newborn screening and related outcomes in the Philippines.

Results. From 2005 to 2011, a total of 3,460,839 newborns were screened in the CNSP which included 111,127 Filipinos. Among the Filipinos, there were 199 confirmed having one of the screened disorders categorized as follows: endocrinologic disorders (51); hemoglobinopathies (109); amino acid disorders (6); organic acid disorders (7); fatty acid disorders (10); and other disorders (16). Extrapolating these findings to the Philippine newborn population predicts the detection of significant additional cases of screened disorders including:  2180 hemoglobinopathies, 140 organic acid disorders, 200 fatty acid disorders, and 240 other disorders.

Conclusion.  Data from the CNSP show serious disorders detected by newborn screening in Filipino babies that are not currently included in the limited newborn screening program in the Philippines. Expanding the panel of screened disorders to approximate that in the CNSP will result in significant additional case detections in the Philippines that will save lives and reduce unnecessary negative health outcomes through early detection and treatment.

Key Words: newborn screening, expanded newborn screening, Philippine newborn screening program


Sunday, March 31, 2013

VYLH-PHL joins"Jean/Gene" Ribbon Campaign: Raising awareness to the fullest

February marks another milestone for the Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health -Philippines after the network successfully participated in the 4th Rare Disease Awareness Week and the 6th International Rare Disease Day last February 28,2013.

The dynamic volunteers of VYLH-Mindanao led the advocacy campaign in different areas as far as the provinces of Surigao del Sur, Misamis Oriental, Bukidnon and Davao. Schools, communities and even the public and private sectors were engaged in this noble act of advocating. Among the activities conducted were radio plugging and airing of Philippine Society for Orphan Disorders or PSOD’s theme song “Lalaban Kami” in Radyo ni Juan, signature campaign for the enactment of Rare Disease Act of the Philippines, display of PSOD’s slogans and posters to various institutions as well as group lectures and room-to-room orientation to selected students of Xavier University, Central Mindanao University and community high schools in Davao. The event’s highlight was the denim ribbon distribution and wearing of maong jeans in solidarity with the Global Genes Project‘s “Wear that you Care” campaign during the Rare Disease Day.

The Newborn Screening Center-Mindanao employees, spearheaded by Dr. Abarquez, once again showed their support for the occasion by marking the special day as an official blue jeans day! The wearing of maong jeans and the pinning of denim ribbons signified the personnel’s call-for–solidarity with the campaign. The Southern Philippines Medical Center staff and employees and patients also joined the week-long PSOD video film showing, signature campaign, and lectures in the different areas like the OPD, SPMC lobby, OB and Pedia wards. With the theme “Rare Disorders without Borders”, this year’s main objective was to create awareness on the different orphan and rare disorders, not only locally but globally as well.

[For updating]
Contributors: Aple Tadlas, RN (VYLH-Philippines Mindanao Secretariat)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

VYLH-Philippines joins Buntis Day 2013

MANILA - Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health (VYLH)-Philippines volunteers participated in the recently concluded Buntis Day activity by the Bayside Council on Obstetrics and Gynecology (BAYCOG) on March 10, 2013 at Robinson's Place Otis, Manila. 

Acknowledgements. VYLH-Philippines would like to thank Dr. Amelita Jover and BAYCOG. 
Participating volunteers: Romer Guerbo, Gessa Ramos, Kevin Lucas, Elmer Palomeno, Rufus Thomas Adducul, Ryan Pascual 


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