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.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

DOH-NCR, NSC-NIH and VYLH hold 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 Central Luzon 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. 




Written by 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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Friday, November 18, 2016

VYLH reps exchange best practices with Colombian Youth Leaders

MANILA - Representatives of Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health (VYLH)- Philippines met and shared various youth advocacy activities and best practices of the network with youth leaders from Colombia last October 24, 2016 at the Chancellor's Board Room, Philippine General Hospital - University of the Philippines - Manila.

The Colombian youth delegation all form part of the top winners recognized at the Fourth National Youth Volunteering Award. The awardees were selected from 190 nominees across Colombia and were chosen by a high-level committee composed of representatives from local, international, public and civil society organizations. 
Members of the Colombian Deelgation. From L to R:
Maritza Mera, Valentina Posada, Diana Montoya and
Jose Fabian Gonzalez
The national recognition came with an exposure trip to the Philippines aimed on facilitating the exchange of experiences between young people of both countries. The mission is part of the South-South Cooperation Initiative of “Strengthening Youth Organizations” between Colombia and the Philippines. 

The Colombian delegation include Diana Paola Montoya of the Association of Scouts, Jose Fabian Gonzalez of Fundacion Juvenil Laguna Verde, Valentina Cardona Posada of Institution Educativa Eduardo Santos, and Maritza Fernanda Mera of Microsoft Student Partner – University of Cauca. According to the head of the delegation,  Ms. Maria Francisca Cepeda, "they come from different groups in Colombia and they were all recognized based from the remarkable and life-changing activities that they do for their communities." Cepeda is also the advisor of the Directorate of the Colombian National Youth System “Colombia Joven”.
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Friday, November 11, 2016

Redefining Gene-by-Environment Interaction

Insights of a “Gene” on the Implementation of K4Health

by Rochelle Sarmiento (Kabilin, NCR-SL)

Almost always in every Genetics-related lecture I have so far tried to comprehend, and, seemingly, fortunate to have understood, my professors would emphasize that the very traits being expressed by any organism are a product of the interplay of various genetic and environmental factors. In several instances, they would tell— one hand holding the microphone, a leg stancing forward, and eyes looking towards the sea of fascinated and uninterested students alike— that as an individual ages, the environment he is predisposed to would hugely play a role on what makes him basically him.

Such notion is a widely accepted and acknowledged pillar of the concepts in Genetics. And when conceptually applied to matters of prime and social relevance, it would also pose an equally worth noting idea: that our perspectives on certain issues in the society may be influenced by the surroundings we find ourselves in and the people we have the opportunity to interact with.

The Program

Take as an example the conduct of the K4Health Community Youth Training Program. True to the meaning of K4, Kabataang Kabalikat ng Komunidad para sa Kalusugan, the primary aim of the said activity is to spark active participation among the youth towards sustainable improvement of the health of the people.

Having made its pilot and second implementations at the Municipality of Nampicuan in Nueva Ecija last June 7 to 9 and August 27 to 28, respectively, the program has been able to produce 27 volunteer youth leaders (VYLs) who are trained to be on the forefront of raising awareness on the importance of folic acid supplementation and newborn screening in their community.

Barangay Service Point Ofiicers (BSPO), GeneSoc facilitators, and youth volunteers of Nampicuan assemble for a photo opportunity after the special portion of the training program intended for BSPOs (Photo: GeneSoc)
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Sunday, October 02, 2016

VYLH Visayas goes full circle with first Eastern Visayas Youth Camp

Written by Janelle Ruiz



The Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health (VYLH)-Philippines, with support from the Department of Health – Eastern Visayas Regional Office (DOH-RO8) and Newborn Screening Center-Visayas (NSCV), welcomed new volunteers from Eastern Visayas in a youth camp held at San Juanico Park and Country Club, Tacloban City last September 17-18, 2016.  

With the theme “Revolutionizing Health Promotion through Youth Participation”, the camp marked the first recruitment and training venture of the network in Region 8 and it was participated by youth leaders from Northern Samar, Eastern Samar, Biliran and Leyte. The camp was facilitated by volunteers from prior batches (Pioneer, K4, I3, E4 and Hiraya) as part of their commitment to the network and the tradition of passing the VYLH culture and practices to new volunteers.

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Thursday, September 15, 2016

VYLH-Philippines dubbed YouthLeadGlobal Top Model Youth Leadership Program

Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health (VYLH) - Philippines was selected as one of the Top Model Youth Leadership Programs of 2016 by the global youth leadership program search, YouthLeadGlobal. 

YouthLeadGlobal is a collaborative engagement of Leadership, Management & Governance (LMG) Project, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), International Youth Alliance for Family Planning and Youth Health and Rights Coalition. 

The global review aims to identify and examine effective youth leadership programs, models and strategies from around the world that aim to improve health outcomes for the youth through leadership. Qualified programs give focus on the youth’s health, as well as nurturing their leadership and knowledge skills. Such programs must have demonstrated positive outcomes for the youth in general, including the development of health services of youth-oriented organisations and communities. Furthermore, these programs should provide opportunities for the youth to practice leadership.

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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

VYLH-Philippines holds 3rd Central Visayas Regional Youth Camp

Written by Kristofer Ralph Supil, RN (Hiraya, Dumaguete)



Way up north in the island of Cebu, the waves splashed and glimmered from the sunbeams as the second leg of the Visayas cluster camps was about to commence. New volunteers from two regions, from five different provinces, came to grace the occasion. Surrounded by their ates and kuyas for the first time, new volunteers were welcomed in the best way possible, the VYLH style.

The two days in the camp would prove to be monumental in their journey to become leaders in the Philippines. They signed up for something bigger than themselves.

The delegates from the provinces of Cebu, Negros Oriental, Negros Occidental, Bohol, and Siquijor, took part in their very first step in becoming a volunteer youth leader for health. Popularly known as VYLH-Philippines, the organization has been running since 2009, slowly growing in number, and constantly strengthening its network with volunteer youth leaders who have a passion for leadership and health. These volunteers from different parts of the country are currently focusing on three advocacies: the campaign on folic acid awareness, the promotion on newborn screening, and the lobbying of support for rare and orphan disorders. The organization has been successful so far in mobilizing the youth in making a dent, a profound change, in history.

With the efforts of the organizing committee and the support of the Department of Health Regional Office VII (DOH RO7), Newborn Screening Center Visayas (NSCV) and the Institute of Human Genetics (IHG-NIH, UP Manila), the second leg of this year's regional camp to usher in a new wave of passionate leaders was made possible.

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Thursday, August 18, 2016

VYLH-Philippines spearheads first National Social media day for Folic acid Awareness #FolicAcidPH

CAMPAIGN REPORT

In observance of this year’s Nutrition Month and National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week, the Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health (VYLH)-Philippines together with the Institute of Human Genetics, NIH-UP Manila launched #FolicAcidPH, the first National Social Media Day for Folic Acid Awareness last July 18, 2016. 

Studies have shown that the intake of folic acid or vitamin B9 through supplements and fortified foods can significantly reduce the risk of neural tube defects (NTDs) or problems on the development of the baby’s brain and spine. NTDs comprise one of the most common group of serious birth defects which may result in immediate infant death, deformity or disability. 

Although there are efforts directed towards increasing awareness, knowledge and consumption of folic acid, the full potential of folic acid to reduce the risk of NTDs has not yet realized in most countries, including the Philippines. At present, there is also no existing legislation on folic acid fortification, supplementation, public education and promotion in the Philippines. 

The #FolicAcidPH social media campaign which aims to increase public awareness on folic acid, its sources, and its role in good health and the prevention of NTDs was able to gain the support and active participation of 49 partner organizations: 45 university-based organizations, 3 national student alliances/organizations and one non-government organization. The campaign was convened by VYLH-Philippines Former National President and Pioneer member Ryan John Pascual. 



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Monday, August 15, 2016

AMSA-WVSU SCORE conducts Folic Acid Deficiency forum

Written by Gilbert Guy D. Murillo


LA PAZ, ILOILO - The Asian Medical Students' Association – West Visayas State University (AMSA-WVSU) joined the Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health (VYLH) - Philippines in launching the First National Social Media Day for Folic Acid Awareness last July 18, 2016. The event, dubbed as #FolicAcidPH, had a main objective to increase public awareness on folic acid and its important role in the prevention of neural tube defects through a social media campaign. 

AMSA-WVSU members and the students of WVSU College of Medicine participated in the said campaign by sharing infographics and posts from #FolicAcidPH Facebook page, joining the #FolicAcidPH Thunderclap, using #FolicAcidPH in posts and tweets, and posting photos with #FolicAcidPH campaign related fan signs and fan boards. 

AMSA-WVSU further advanced the #FolicAcidPH campaign by holding a forum last July 30, 2016, in cooperation with VYLH-Philippines Iloilo Chapter. The “#FolicAcidPH and the Youth Forum” aimed to promote folic acid deficiency prevention and awareness through the initiative and commitment of the youth. The said activity was participated by representatives from WVSU College of Communication (COC).


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Tuesday, August 09, 2016

#HealthXPh, VYLH-Philippines hold Preconception Health TweetChat


Does disability prevention begin in the womb? or earlier? “Prevention is better than cure” has always been a common and undoubtedly true saying. However, there is still a gap on how Filipinos carry this saying in preparing to have kids and start a family.

Last July 23, 2016, VYLH-Philippines together with #HealthXPH conducted a TweetChat on Preconception Health (PreCon) for Birth Defects and Disability Prevention. According to the TweetChat statistics compiled using Symplur, the one hour tweetchat which started at exactly 9:00 in the evening peaked with 560 tweets on the topic coming from 37 participants composed of doctors, medicine students and health advocates.

Moderated by Former VYLH-Philippines National President Ryan Pascual (@rypascual) with guidance from HealthXPh core collaborator Dr. Gia Sison (@giasison), the TweetChat session explored the possible reasons why preconception health consultation and awareness is not popular and the reforms or possible activities that can be done to improve PreCon awareness. The utilization of social media in improving PreCon awareness was also discussed. 

The tweetchat is part of the 7th Founding Anniversary Week of VYLH-Philippines and the network's observance of National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week. 

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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

UPM Chancellor Padilla to receive Global Genes Rare Champion of Hope award

Global Genes, one of the leading rare disease patient advocacy organizations in the world has selected Dr. Carmencita Padilla as one of the 2016 Rare Champions of Hope. Dr. Padilla will receive a “Rare Champion of Hope” recognition under the Medical care and Treatment -International category. 

As published on the Global Genes website, Dr. Carmencita Padilla, the current Chancellor of the University of the Philippines Manila was recognized for her “remarkable contribution to the rare disease community [which] has made her a beacon of hope for many in the Philippines. She is instrumental in creating genetic services at the Philippine General Hospital, which later became the Institute of Human Genetics of the National Institutes of Health-UP Manila. She introduced newborn screening for optimal health in the Philippines and is responsible for the Newborn Screening Act of 2004. Dr. Padilla is also Founding Chairman of the Philippine Society for Orphan Disorder and is again instrumental in the passage of the Rare Disease Act of the Philippines enacted March 2016, after 7 years of deliberating with 3 congresses. Her innovations are influential in providing all aspects of support and awareness about rare disease in the country and beyond." [1] 

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Thursday, July 21, 2016

LGU, DOH Region III gear up Nampicuan youth for community health promotion

NAMPICUAN, NUEVA ECIJA – The Local Government Unit (LGU) of the Municipality of Nampicuan through its Municipal Health Officer (MHO), Dr. Ron Allan Quimado in cooperation with The UPLB Genetics Society (GeneSoc) and Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health (VYLH) – Philippines established a community-based youth organization in a three-day training camp held last June 7-9, 2016.

A total of 16 youth participants joined the K4Health training program sponsored by the Department of Health –Central Luzon Regional Office (DOH Regional Office III), Newborn Screening Center – Central Luzon (NSC-CL), Institute of Human Genetics (IHG) – NIH, UP Manila, and alumni members of GeneSoc. Preparatory training activities for facilitators were also made possible through UPLB Ugnayan ng Pahinungod and VYLH-Philippines.

Barangay Service Point Ofiicers (BSPO), GeneSoc facilitators, and youth volunteers of Nampicuan assemble for a photo opportunity after the special portion of the training program intended for BSPOs (Photo: GeneSoc)

The program title, K4Health (Kabataan for Health), strongly underscores the role of the youth in nation-building and their mobilization towards health promotion. The four “Ks” also mean “Kabataang Kabalikat ng Komunidad para sa Kalusugan” highlighting the need for the youth to effect change in their community.

The training program, which is actually a pioneering joint project of VYLH-Philippines and GeneSoc in establishing a community-based VYLH Chapter, aimed to organize and mobilize the youth of Nampicuan towards birth defects prevention and newborn screening promotion.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Filling the Gaps on Folic acid Insufficiency: Legislation, Implementation, and Intervention

PRESS RELEASE
NAST-DOST*

The National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines (NAST PHL) gathered stakeholders from the health and nutrition sector, representatives from the legislative body and other concerned government agencies, the academe, the private sector, and the pharmaceutical industry on June 28 at Hotel Jen Manila for a Science Legislative Forum (SLF) on Folic Acid. 


Resource persons, speakers and guests of the SLF on Folic Acid. (Photo: NAST-PHL @NASTPHL)

The objectives of the SLF were to review the global and Philippine burden of neural tube defects; review the burden of folic acid deficiency and insufficiency in the Philippines; review evidence for, impacts of, and safety of increasing folic acid intake; review experiences in increasing folic acid intake globally and in the Philippines; to orient the various stakeholders on the proposed legislations on folic acid supplementation and fortification; and discuss the role of government agencies, the academe, and the private sector.

The participants of the legislative forum were welcomed by Academician (Acd.) Fabian M. Dayrit, acting president of NAST PHL. One of the mandates of NAST PHL is to serve as an adviser to the government and the scientific community on policy formulation. Through the initiatives of Acd. Carmencita D. Padilla, member of the Health Sciences Division (HSD) of NAST PHL and focal person of the SLF on Folic Acid, the Rare Disease Act or the Republic Act No. 10747 was signed into law by President Benigno Aquino III. Its stakeholders can be traced from a successful legislative forum that captured cohesive inputs for the advocacy of the said act.

As there no are existing folic acid fortification efforts in the Philippines and supplementation efforts have achieved low coverage, there is a need to put a comprehensive policy in place not only to increase the awareness and knowledge on how folic acid can prevent NTDs but also to improve the maternal health of every Filipino mother and woman of child-bearing age; hence the conduct of a legislative forum for folic acid fortification and supplementation, Acd. Dayrit stressed.

Folate is a B-vitamin that plays a significant role in preventing birth defects particularly of the baby’s brain and spine, which are collectively known as neural tube defects (NTDs). Folic acid is the synthetic form of folate that occurs in fortification and supplementation.

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Thursday, June 30, 2016

VYLH-Philippines to launch #FolicAcidPH, the first National Social Media Day for Folic acid Awareness

MEDIA RELEASE

This July 18, Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health (VYLH) – Philippines, a national collaboration of youth leaders of youth organizations in universities and communities in the Philippines, will be launching the first National Social Media day for Folic Acid Awareness, #FolicAcidPH. The social media activity which coincides with the observance of National Nutrition Month and National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week aims to increase public awareness on the folic acid, its sources, and its role in good health and the prevention of neural tube defects (NTDs).   

Studies have shown that the intake of folic acid or vitamin B9 through supplementation and food fortification can significantly reduce the risk of neural tube defects (NTDs) or problems on the development of the baby’s brain and spine. NTDs comprise one of the most common group of serious birth defects and these may result in immediate infant death, deformity or disability. Although there are efforts directed towards increasing awareness, knowledge and consumption of folic acid, the full potential of folic acid to reduce the risk of NTDs has not yet realized in most countries, including the Philippines.

In the Philippines, awareness on the significance of folic acid supplementation among Filipino women in reproductive age is presumed to be low. Furthermore, folate deficiency has been determined to exist. According to the 7th National Nutrition Survey by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute-DOST, 1 in every 5 pinays of childbearing age is folate deficient. Hence, there is a need for increasing public awareness on this matter, especially in the absence of a legislation on folic acid fortification, supplementation and public education.

In order to promote public awareness, #FolicAcidPH will utilize Facebook, Twitter and Thunderclap as its major online platforms. Suggested tweets, status messages and infographics will also be provided by the youth network. Aside from these, interested youth groups, government agencies, and non-government organizations are invited to join the cause and become a partner of the social media campaign.

Aside from the social media campaign, VYLH-Philippines will also be celebrating its 7th Founding Anniversary. It was on the night of July 18, 2009 when its pioneer batch composed of 78 volunteer youth leaders accepted the challenge of promoting folic acid awareness as one of the flagship health advocacies of the network.

For more details about #FolicAcidPH, please visit bit.ly/folicacidph or the official campaign Facebook page (fb.com/folicacidph). 


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NAST PHL holds Science Legislative Forum on Folic acid

Resource persons, speakers and guests of the SLF on Folic Acid. (Photo: NAST-PHL @NASTPHL)

MANILA, Philippines – The National Academy of Science and Technology Philippines (NAST-PHL) held a Science Legislative Forum (SLF) on Folic Acid last June 28, 2016 at Hotel Jen Manila. The forum organized by the Health Sciences Division of NAST-PHL was attended by delegates from concerned government agencies, congressional health committees, local and international non-government organizations (NGOs), and the academe. 

Studies have shown that the intake of folic acid or vitamin B9 from supplements and fortified food can significantly reduce the risk of neural tube defects (NTDs) or problems on the development of the baby’s brain and spine. NTDs comprise the second most common group of serious birth defects and these may result in immediate infant death, deformity or disability. Although there are efforts directed  towards increasing awareness, knowledge and consumption of folic acid, the full potential of folic acid to reduce the risk of NTDs has not yet realized in most countries, including the Philippines.

According to Dr. Carmencita Padilla, activity focal person and NAST Academician, the SLF represents “an important day for women”.  UP Manila Chancellor Padilla also noted that women in the reproductive age needs to take the vitamin not only for good health but also for saving babies from NTDs. In the latter, women planning to get pregnant should take the vitamin at periconception or the period before becoming pregnant and during the early months of pregnancy. 

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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

ASCLEPIAN SUMMER: Youth Empowerment and Health Promotion

by John Romeo Dominick DiƱo (Kabilin)

In the spirit of leadership, youth empowerment and promotion of maternal and child health, I embarked my journey on being an advocate for health in the Philippines.

The Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health (VYLH) - Philippines conducted its Western Visayas regional camp last April 9-10, 2016 at Bacolod Pavilion Hotel in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental. Along with 39 other participants from different civic organizations, I was chosen to represent the Order of Asclepius in this annual event sponsored by the Department of Health and the Newborn Screening Center- Visayas.

PASSION AND PURPOSE. Youth leaders gather as thet pledge their commitment in doing voluntary services
on promoting public awareness and mobilizing the Filipino youth for health. 

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Saturday, June 11, 2016

GeneSoc, VYLH spearhead three-day Community Youth Training Program in Nampicuan, Nueva Ecija

K4 Health Community Youth Training Program completers.
Photo: The UPLB Genetics Society
Compiled by Ryan Pascual (Pioneer)

Standing firm on its commitment to promoting health-related advocacies, The UPLB Genetics Society (GeneSoc) spearheaded the engagement of Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health (VYLH)-Philippines with the community youth in a pilot project called K4Health Community Youth Training Program last June 7-9 in Nampicuan, Nueva Ecija.

Rooted to the meaning of K4, "Kabataan Kabalikat ng Komunidad para sa Kalusugan,” the said training program led to the organization and establishment of a community-based VYLH core group in the host local government unit under the direct supervision of the Local Government Unit's (LGU) Health Officer.

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Monday, June 06, 2016

Generating a New Wave of Youth Leaders

Written by Tricia Carmona (Kabilin)

Welcoming Batch Kabilin. VYLH-Philippines held its first camp in Western Visayas last April 9-10, 2016 with youth participants from Negros Occidental and Panay Island provinces. In photo: the new volunteer youth leaders in  their cultural attire.

Picture this: We are living in a nation where young people can thrive and pursue their passions. They are well-educated and are taking charge of their lives. They empower themselves and the people around them, making them great leaders and parents in the future. 

This is the change our country badly needs right now.

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VYLH-Philippines welcomes Batch Kabilin

Written by Lera Almendral (I3)

Batch Kabilin (Western Visayas) together with the facilitators and invited guests.


The Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health-Philippines welcomed Batch Kabilin, the newest batch of volunteer youth leaders during the Western Visayas Regional Camp held at Bacolod Pavilion Hotel last April 9-10, 2016. Kabilin is the Cebuano word for heritage and legacy.

Camp Starters. Volunteer Youth Leaders participating in the games "Hammer" and
"How well do you know your co- camper?"

With the theme, “Revolutionizing health promotion through youth participation”, the two-day camp introduced the participants to the organization and prepared them to be part of VYLH-Philippines. A total of 39 youth volunteers were able to qualify for the camp, 16 of which came from Negros Occidental and 23 from Panay Island provinces. Meanwhile, the camp was facilitated by selected volunteer youth leaders (VYLs) from prior batches (Pioneer, I3, K4 and Hiraya) as part of the tradition and conscious effort of the network of preserving its formation and heritage from each generation of VYL to another.

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Friday, April 15, 2016

Pangasinan Students get acquainted with NBS

Public and private colleges and universities in Pangasinan participated in the orientation and seminar on newborn screening (NBS) conducted by the Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health (VYLH)-Philippines at the Nenas Garden Bed and Breakfast, Bonuan, Pangasinan, on March 18, 2016.

Dr. Florencio Dizon, Newborn Screening Center–Central Luzon (NSC-CL) Unit Head, welcomed the some 45 students and department heads from University of Luzon, Lyceum Northwestern University, University of Pangasinan, Pangasinan State University, Colegio de Dagupan, and Virgen Milagrosa University Foundation.

VYLH North and Central Luzon Cluster Representatives, Regional NBS Coordinators, and NBS Continuity Clinic staff facilitated the programs, which included orientation on VYLH, folic acid
supplementation, NBS panel of disorders , Rare Disease Act of the Philippines, and the Expanded
Newborn Screening. ADoctolero



Originally published on the March-April 2016 Issue
Newborn Screening, the Official Newsletter of the
Newborn Screening Reference Center


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Sunday, March 13, 2016

Get to know the 10 key provisions of the Rare Diseases Act of the Philippines, RA10747


  • The Rare Disease Bill was first filed in 2009 and it took three Congresses (14th, 15th and 16th) spanning almost seven years before it was enacted.
  • On its third and final reading, lawmakers unanimously approved the bill in both Houses of Congress.
  • President Benigno Aquino III signed RA 10747 or the Rare Diseases Act of the Philippines on March 3, 2016 - the first formal observance of World Birth Defects Day in the country.
  • RA 10747 is an act promulgating a comprehensive policy in addressing the needs of persons with rare disease.


Health Promotion and Advocacy Update
Series of 2016


Photo: VYLH-Philippines/National
Rare Disease Week Facebook Page
A THROWBACK. Rare disease bills were first filed in 2009 during the third regular session of the 14th Congress. It was filed again in 2010 when the 15th Congress started. However, the bill only reached the committee level for both attempts.

In 2013, numerous rare disease bills were filed in the two Houses of Congress. In the 16th Congress, nine rare disease bills were filed in the House of Representatives while five were filed in the Senate. As compared to the two previous Congresses and the early years of the 16th Congress, much of the legislative developments for the proposed bills happened in 2015 with both Houses consolidating rare disease bills, and rare disease bills passing beyond the committee level.

At the plenary level, the rare bills gained high approval on its third and final reading as reflected by the unanimous votes among lawmakers (204-0 and 16-0). The House of Representatives was able to vote on the bill in August while the Senate followed in December. 

Before going into its Christmas break, the Lower House approved the Senate's bill as an amendment to its version which made the bill skip bicameral proceedings. The consolidated version reached the President's Desk for his signature and approval on February 2016 and it was eventually signed on March 3, 2016. The day is also the first formal observance of World Birth Defects Day in the Philippines.




THE LIST. Here are the TEN (10) Key provisions of RA 10747 or the Rare Diseases Act of the Philippines:

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Saturday, March 12, 2016

Advancing the SDGs in the context of VYLH-Philippines Advocacies


  • With the recent end of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the global community has moved towards the adoption of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that are set to be completed from 2016-2030.
  • Building on the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the SDGs aim to end poverty, fight inequality, tackle climate change and protect the environment.
  • VYLH-Philippines advocacies primarily respond to the Health SDG (Goal 3) particularly the prevention of newborn deaths and promotion of universal health coverage.
  • In addition to this, promoting public awareness on the importance of folic acid supplementation in the prevention of neural tube defects addresses prevention of potential newborn deaths, and the nutritional needs of women in the reproductive age, at the same time.
  • Meanwhile, the enactment and future implementation of the RA 10747 (Rare Diseases Act of the Philippines) will not only address the health of Filipino rare disease patients but also their inclusion to society.

Health Promotion and Advocacy Update
Series of 2016


What are the SDGs?

The Sustainable Development Goals, also known as Global Goals, were adopted by world leaders at the UN Sustainable Development Summit on 25 September 2015. The 17 goals set for another fifteen years, 2030, aim to end poverty, fight inequality, tackle climate change and protect the environment. The SGDs are included in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.


Moving Forward: From MDGs to SDGs

Built on the progress made by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) or the eight anti-poverty targets that the world committed to be achieved by 2015, the SDGs have a broader sustainability agenda that go beyond the MDGs. Adopted in 2000, the MDGs were targets that tackled poverty, hunger, disease, gender inequality and access to water and sanitation.

Based from a World Health Organization release, “the 17 SDGs are broader and more ambitious than the MDGs, presenting an agenda that is relevant to all people in all countries to ensure that "no one is left behind." The new agenda requires that all three dimensions of sustainable development – economic, social and environmental – are addressed in an integrated manner”.


VYLH-Philippines and Its Advocacies

The Volunteers Youth Leaders for Health – Philippines (VYLH-Philippines) is a national collaboration of youth leaders of youth organizations in universities and communities in the Philippines. This novel undertaking is part of an international effort to establish the March of Dimes - Global Network for Maternal and Infant Health (GNMIH) participated by youth counterparts in China and Lebanon linked by the common interest of volunteerism and public service, to improve birth outcomes worldwide through advocacy.



Since its inception in July 2009, the leaders of the VYLH network have been conducting advocacy and promotional work in their respective schools and communities focusing on the following health concerns:


  • Increasing awareness among women in their reproductive age on the significance of folic acid supplementation in the prevention of birth defects;
  • Increasing public awareness in saving babies from mental retardation and death through newborn screening; and
  • Lobbying public support for the urgent passage of the Rare Disease Act, an act addressing the needs of patients with rare, orphan disorders.

Causes of 2.761 M deaths during the
neonatal period, worldwide (2013/WHO)
In 2015, promoting prematurity awareness was placed as an advocacy for consideration of the network. According to the WHO, prematurity is the leading cause of death in children under the age of 5 worldwide. In social media, materials and infographics on global and national statistics on premature births, complications and risk factors were posted and shared in time for World Prematurity Day (November 17). One of the points highlighted in the campaign is the importance of awareness in the prevention of preterm births.

Furthermore, the network has also played an active role in promoting the concern on birth defects - awareness, prevention, care and research, as it participated as an international partner of World Birth Defects Day (March 3) this 2016.

Both birth defects and preterm births contribute to more than 40 percent of neonatal deaths in  2013(WHO). The two are also within the scope of the goals and programs of GNMIH.

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Thursday, March 10, 2016

In Focus: Newborn Screening Continuity Clinics


  • Newborn Screening Continuity Clinics (NSCCs)  provide long-term follow-up management of patients confirmed with heritable disorders.
  • Fourteen (14) NSCCs were established throughout the country before the end of 2014.
  • Initially, one NSCC will be set-up per region. NSCCs are based in regional and provincial referral center identified by the Department of Health.
  • It is hoped that provincial continuity clinics will be established in the future.
  • NSCCs will also assume an important role in the referral and management of rare disease patients as mandated by RA10747.

Health Promotion and Advocacy Update
Series of 2016



Newborn Screening Continuity Clinics (NSCCs)  provide long-term follow-up management of patients confirmed with heritable disorders. Their creation is a response of the Department of Health (DOH) to the mandate of RA9288 (Newborn Screening Act of 2004) particularly on its role on ensuring the establishment of a network of facilities for referral and management of all positive cases. Before the end of 2014, fourteen (14) NSCCs were fully instituted and operationalized. This is according to the Newborn Screening Reference Center's (NSRC) report published in the January-February 2015 Issue of Newborn Screening.

Following DOH A.O. No. 2014-0035, the establishment of NSCCs will strengthen the National Comprehensive Newborn Screening System Treatment Network by ensuring the early treatment and appropriate management of positive cases. The NSCCs are based in regional and provincial referral centers identified by the DOH. Initially, one NSCC will be set-up per region. It is hoped that provincial continuity clinics will be established in the future. 
Photo: Newborn Screening/NSRC January-February 2015 Issue

Photo: Newborn Screening/NSCR January-February 2015 Issue
Continuity clinics conduct regular monitoring and assessment of patients confirmed with heritable disorders. Continuity clinics also serve as birth defects center under the Philippine Birth Defects Surveillance Project. All of the continuity clinics are manned by at least a full-time nurse and a part-time pediatrician. The NSCC team members ensure that newborns confirmed to be having the disorders in the panel are followed up regularly and get to live normal lives. Their core responsibilities include performing patient and family-centered activities. 



The NSCC team also maintains a continuous relationship with the family of patients; monitors their compliance to treatment through scheduling, follow-up appointments and workups; facilitates referral of patients to available subspecialists in their facility or region; and provides continuing education to patient, family, and support group.

NSCCs also collaborate with other agency partners of the program (DOH Regional Offices, Newborn Screening Centers (NSCs), Clinical Genetics Units, Newborn Screening Reference Center (NSRC), health facilities, health practitioners, and local government units) in the course of fulfilling their responsibilities.




With the recent enactment of RA10747 or the Rare Diseases Act of the Philippines, the NSCCs shall also play an important role in the referral and management of rare disease patients.  As stated in the new law, rare disease refers to disorders such as inherited metabolic disorders and other diseases with similar rare occurrence as recognized by the DOH upon recommendation of the Rare Disease Technical Working Group to be created by the agency. At present, the Institute of Human Genetics-NIH of the University of the Philippines Manila has categorized rare disorders as any health condition resulting from genetic defects that afflicts no more than 1 of every 20,000 individuals in the country.



The following are the contact details and host facilities of the NSCCs (as of August 2015):
Source: Newborn Screening Reference Center
For updates, visit the Newborn Screening Reference Center website (newbornscreening.ph)
__________________
Reference: Newborn Screening (The Official Bi-monthly Newsletter of the NSRC) January-February 2015 Issue
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Sunday, February 28, 2016

WorldBDday-PHL calls for Collective Action and Better Care for Birth Defects

WorldBDday MEDIA RELEASE

Health Promotion and Advocacy Update
Series of 2016


Every year nearly 8 million babies around the world—6 percent of all births (1 in 33 babies)—are born with a serious birth defect. It is also estimated that around 3.3 million children less than 5 years of age die annually because of serious birth defects. In many countries, birth defects are one of the leading causes of death in infants and young children. In the Philippines, congenital anomalies rank among the top 20 causes of death across the life span and are the third leading cause of death in the infancy period. Babies who survive and live with these conditions are at an increased risk for long-term disabilities. The effects of birth defects are not only limited to individuals and their families since these conditions also impact their communities, and all of us.

To increase global awareness on these conditions, ​a growing network of local and international organizations have jointly observed and dedicated the 3rd day of March as "World Birth Defects Day"

What is World Birth Defects Day?

Held every 3rd day of March, World Birth Defects Day (WorldBDday) is a global campaign to raise awareness on birth defects and expand birth defects surveillance, prevention, care, and research worldwide. The event was launched on March 3, 2015 by a consortium of twelve international organizations which include the March of Dimes and the International Clearinghouse for Birth Defects Surveillance and Research (ICBDSR) and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US CDC). This is in response to the 2010 World Health Assembly resolution (EB126.R6) urging member states to raise awareness and develop programs for the prevention and care of birth defects.

Specifically, The observance of World Birth Defects Day is grounded on five goals namely:
  • to increase global awareness about the occurrence of birth defects; 
  • to increase awareness of available treatment services; 
  • to expand referral and care services for all persons with birth defects; 
  • to increase implementation of programs to prevent birth defects; and 
  • to encourage the public, governmental agencies, non-governmental organizations, and healthcare providers to improve the care of affected children. 

About WorldBDday-Philippines

During the launch of World Birth Defects Day last year, the Philippines' participation was initiated by VYLH-Philippines as it joined and promoted the World Birth Defects Day Thunderclap. This act helped in placing the Philippines among the 34 identified countries where supporters of the social media campaign came.

This 2016, the ICBDSR coordinated with UP Manila Chancellor Dr. Carmencita Padilla and suggested the inclusion of representative agencies to the global partners of WorldBDDay, including VYLH-Philippines. With this, the WorldBDDay-Philippines Secretariat was formed by the collaboration of three organizations and the Newborn Screening Centers (NSCs) in the country:
  • Institute of Human Genetics-NIH, University of the Philippines Manila
  • Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health-Philippines
  • Newborn Screening Reference Center-NIH, University of the Philippines Manila
  • Newborn Screening Centers (North Luzon, NIH, Southern Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao)

Partners from different government agencies, non-government and student organizations have also formally agreed to support the WorldBDday campaign in the Philippines. As of February 26, there are 19 organizations that have joined the campaign. Click here to see the list of official partners [LINK].

Related: Read the WordBDday Philippines Official Media Release

First Meeting of WorldBDday Partner Organizations at the Chancellor's Board Room, UP Manila

The Philippine WorldBDday Theme

As agreed during the first meeting of WorldBDday-PHL partners on January 20, 2010, a local theme will be formulated in order to get the attention of the public and establish a connection among Filipinos. This year which is also the first formal observance of WorldBDday in the country, WorldBDday-PHL will be observed with the theme, "Sa Sama-samang pagkilos at pagkalinga, Sa Birth Defects, Tayo ay may magagawa" (“Responding to Birth Defects through Collective Action and Better Care”).


Sama-samang Pagkilos refers to our collective efforts channeled through various activities such as birth defects prevention through health promotion, advocacy and awareness campaign activities, birth defects surveillance and research. These activities are important in promoting public awareness on birth defects - a common, costly, and critical public health challenge. 
  • Health Promotion and Birth Defects Prevention. With some birth defects preventable through lifestyle changes and healthier choices prior and during preganancy, there is a need to increase the awareness of future parents on such strategies that will provide each baby a great and healthy start.
  • Birth Defects Surveillance. Birth defects surveillance is important in finding and collecting information about the prevalence and possible causes of birth defects. The data from birth defects tracking systems are useful to public health officials, policymakers, and scientists. Still, there is a need to intensify birth defects surveillance in the country.
  • Research. With the causes of most birth defects remaining unknown, supporting birth defects research is important in order to determine underlying causes and develop measures for birth defects prevention.
Pagkalinga corresponds to healthcare services made available to persons with birth defects and the support given to patient families. Persons living with serious birth defects may suffer lifetime disability but good quality healthcare services can improve their quality of life. 

Sa Birth Defects, Tayo’y May Magagawa is an affirmation that it is never too late to act on birth defects. We can still do something on birth defects. This statement also relates to existing and future programs by the government and civil society organizations that would support the prevention of preventable birth defects, and improve the welfare of persons with birth defects through better care.

The Success of the first WorldBDday in Social Media

On the ground and online activities were done before and during the first WorldBDday (March 3, 2015). In social media, #WorldBDday was launched as the official hashtag for the campaign. The Twitter-sphere was all aglow last March 3, 2015 for the first-ever World Birth Defects Day. In fact, 6,154,146 people were reached worldwide from February 6 to March 4, 2015. More than half of these were obtained during World Birth Defects Day (March 3) through the the Twitter BuzzDay and the WorldBDday Thunderclap, one of the important metrics of the campaign.

The first WorldBDday Thunderclap was hosted by the March of Dimes and it contributed to the total social media reach of the campaign. Thunderclap is the first-ever crowdspeaking platform that helps people be heard by saying something together. Similar to an "online" flash mob, Thunderclap allows supporters of a campaign to share a single message at the same time thru various social media platforms (e.g. Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr). The first Thunderclap was able to gain 544 supporters from 34 countries and reach 1,101,843 people worldwide. 

More than half of the campaign social media reach came from the Twiter BuzzDay and the Thunderclap. Photo: ICBDSR

How can you support #WorldBDday?

1. Be active on social media and use #WorldBDday
2. Support the Global Thunderclap
3. Join the Twitter Buzzday on March 3

An international media toolkit on WorldBDday was made available by the ICBDSR. Download a copy of the WorldBDday Toolkit [LINK]

For interested institutions and organizations in the Philippines, you may contact the WorldBDday-PH Secretariat (worldbddayph@gmail.com) to learn more on how to become a PHL partner organization.

Quick Guide on Joining the WorldBDday Thunderclap


2. Click "Support with Facebook" and/or "Support with Twitter"
3. Click "Add My Support"
4. Click "Authorize App" to allow Thunderclap to post the message on your behalf.

In Facebook, it asks to access your "Friend List". According to the FAQ, Thunderclap needs to access your "Friend list" in order to calculate social reach for Facebook. The app assures campaign supporters that it will never interact with your friends' accounts, store their information, or post on their behalf.

After these, Thunderclap will be able to publish the WorldBDday post on your timeline on March 3.
To learn more about Thunderclap, visit https://www.thunderclap.it/faq

Go Social #WorldBDday: Suggested Tweets and Posts 

Support the #WorldBDday campaign by sharing your personal thoughts or by posting any of the suggested posts on Facebook and Twitter. Do not forget to use the hashtag #WorldBDday (not case sensitive) to your tweets.
I’m ready to raise awareness on March 3 because birth defects are common, critical and costly! #WorldBDday
Join me March 3 to promote World Birth Defects Day to improve prevention and research worldwide #WorldBDday
On March 3 let’s spread the word – every child born with a birth defect has the right to have a full and happy life #WorldBDday  
Birth defects may result in long-term disability, placing a huge burden on families & health-care systems around the world #WorldBDday
Birth defects survivors may suffer lifetime disability but good health care services may improve their quality of life. #WorldBDday
Did you know that 1 in 100 newborn has a heart defect? #WorldBDday
Birth defects affect 1 in 33 infants and result in approximately 3.2 million birth defect-related disabilities every year #WorldBDday 
Too few countries have a birth defects surveillance program. Why not in all countries? #WorldBDday 
An estimated 270,000 newborns die during the first 28 days of life every year from birth defects #WorldBDday
Did you know? Intake of 400 micrograms of folic acid daily can prevent occurrence of neural tube defects (NTD) by up to 70% #WorldBDday
Did you know? Taking folic acid supplements is the only neural tube defect (NTD) prevention method proven to date #WorldBDday
In PH, congenital anomalies are among the top 10 causes of infant mortality for the past 50 years (DOH) #WorldBDday 
The existing birth defects surveillance project in the PH is led by the Institute of Human Genetics,NIH-UP Manila @IHGenetics #WorldBDday  
Currently, newborn screening in the PH can detect up to 28 disorders #NBSsaves @newbornscreenph #WorldBDday 
Babies with metabolic disorders look normal at birth. Some Inborn errors of metabolism are detected through newborn screening #WorldBDday
Alam mo ba? Ilan sa mga birth defects ay maiiwasan sa pagsagawa ng akmang hakbang bago magbuntis at habang nagbubuntis #WorldBDday 
Paigtingin ang National Surveillance System ng birth defects sa Pilipinas! #WorldBDday
Join the Twitter BuzzDay on March 3

On March 3, share your story about the impact of birth defects on you, your child or someone you know. With our partners, we’ll be urging policymakers, researchers, health care providers and citizens across the globe to help improve birth defects surveillance, prevention, care, and research worldwide.

Plan to post one or more messages using #WorldBDday at some point during the day. Everyone is also invited to retweet both promotional and day-of messages to build the buzz for the day.

Download Materials and Update Your Social Media Profile

In preparation for WorldBDday, we would like to invite our partners to update their social media profile (Facebook Profile Picture and Cover Photo), and banner templates for partners.

Suggested Facebook Profile Pic and Cover Photo
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/3ojwo4foocsquor/AABmGEudRyE9gZVGmoqlBvS6a?dl=0

Fansigns
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/uy7wzlnghm2hafd/AADo7s6QVfmbZCebKXzvFbTqa?dl=0

Poster and Banner Templates
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/82b3rgch9cqdlbj/AABIdy3_BnQshMCCe24wnuCQa?dl=0

Media Toolkit
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/4eyfcgl1hcbm7wv/AAB9ZQo7SBBAXo27r6hsxj0Fa?dl=0

Presentations
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/6ne4tkaiioap5a4/AAC2piODSmk42GGZQQ9dcKeZa?dl=0

Learn more about Birth Defects

Birth defects refer to any structural or metabolic abnormality most often present at birth, identified prenatally (before birth) or later in life. The International Clearinghouse for Birth Defects Surveillance and Research (ICBDSR) prepared a Powerpoint Presentation on Birth Defects, get a copy through this link [LINK].

To learn more about birth defects (congenital anomalies), here are some recommended pages to visit:


Contact Us! Coordinate with the WorldBDday-PHL Secretariat

Interested parties may contact the ​WorldBDDay-Philippines Secretariat through the Institute of Human Genetics (Tel. 526-1725/310-1780 loc 108/Fax 526-9997/email worldbddayph@gmail.com) and the WorldBDday Philippines Facebook Page (fb.com/worldbddayph).# (RPascual)

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