Submitted by ppsstc_admin on Sun, 10/07/2012 – 22:39.
It’s a tough but fulfilling task for our chapter (PPS-Southern Tagalog Chapter) to host the 10th Newborn Screening Convention held last October 1 and 2 at the SMX Convention Center. It is now our fourth time to host this well attended convention -in 2006 at Sofitel Philippine Plaza, 2007 at Taal Vista Hotel , 2010 at SMX Convention Center and once more this year -2012 with ever increasing attendees.
October 1 preconvention sessions dealt on the Basics of Newborn Screening by the heads of the Newborn Screening Centers namely-Dr. Conchita Abarquez of NSC Mindanao,
Dr. April Berboso, Head of the NIH Newborn Screening Center , Dr. Florencio Dizon of NSC Central Luzon .Two pediatric endocrinologists ,Dr. Caridad Santos and Dr. Eleonor Du gave a thorough but easy to understand lectures on Congenital Hypothyroidism and Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia respectively. These are the top diseases prevalent among the Filipino newborns aside from G6PD. Dr. Edgar Posecion of NSC Visayas capped the preconvention with his lecture on “FAQ in Newborn Screening. “
Our convention proper on October 2 have 1,700 participants from all over the country composed mainly of pediatricians, general practitioners ,few obstetricians ,nurses, midwives and medtechs. Dr. Vicente Belizario,Executive Director of National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Vice –Chancellor of UP Manila for Research in his inspirational message reaffirmed NIH’s commitment to the program and the newborn screening implementers and partners NSRC (Newborn Screening Reference Center) and the IHG (Institute of Human Genetics). ASEC Enrique Tayag expressed DOH commitment to look for better ways to screen all Filipino newborns, support for newborn screening expansion plans including the opening of long term follow-up clinics in the different parts of the country and ending his speech with his graceful dance steps.
The opening ceremonies was made more special by the presence of the Honorable Senator Loren Legarda . To quote her best statements “ I believe that the target for the 2015 Millenium Development Goal is within arm’s reach for as long as we develop a concentrated front against premature deaths brought about by lack of information or apathy. Our children and the children of the next generation need not suffer from severe mental retardation ,cataract, anemia, kernicterus and even death when they can lead normal lives. Genetic or metabolic conditions like Congenital Hypothyroidism ,Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia, Galactosemia, Phenylketonuria ,and G6PD Deficiency need not claim lives or cause complication is screened early on ”…” I believe that it is the government’s mandate to protect and promote the rights of children to survival and to provide them an opportunity to live a full and healthy development as individuals”…”Legislative initiatives will be for naught if these are not implemented effectively and efficiently. With your knowledge and expertise,I trust that you will be my staunch partners in promoting a sustainable and effective solution to the problems hounding our children’s health” Senator Legarda in 2004 co-authored with former Vice President Noli De Castro and former senator Juan Flavier the RA 9288 –The Newborn Screening Act of 2004 . She is likewise credited for RA 9709-The Universal Newborn Hearing Screening and Intervention of 2009.” She also filed the Senate Bill 4 a proposed legislation aimed at institutionalizing mandatory universal healthcare coverage for poor families.
The convention proper focused on updates and expansion plans .The Director of the Newborn Screening Reference Center –NIH ,Dr. Carmencita Padilla discussed the milestones of the newborn screening program as well as the master plan for the expanded newborn screening program to save more lives. She presented data of Filipino newborns from the California Newborn Screening Program showing the importance of this expanded newborn screening in saving more lives.
DOH ‘s Dr. Honorata Catibog discussed the proposed DOH network of Regional follow-up Centers.
Two panel discussions comprised mainly the morning sessions -“New Conditions in the Expanded Screening Pamel “ ((Methylmalonic Acidemia, Fatty Acid Oxidation Disorders, Biotinidase Deficiency, Maple Syrup Urine Disease ) by Dr.Carmencita . Padilla,Dr. Mary Ann Chiong and Dr. Sylvia .Estrada and “ What Newborn Screening will not screen” (Autism, ADHD, Pompe, Down Syndrome) by Drs. April .Berboso, Dr.Barbara Cavan and Dr. Jocelyn Eusebio .
“The G6PD Defiency Forum” provided updates on the most prevalent disorder which is G6PD (with a present prevalence of 1:50 Filipino newborns) .Dr. Kweng-Jen Hsiao highlighted G6PD deficiency in Asia with Dr. Beatriz Gepte’s lecture complemented the local data while Dr. Anna Sombong discussed the G6PD QA Program in the Philippines.
Free paper presented gave the participants insights on the ongoing researches done in relation to newborn screening. Dr.Eleonor Bayta ended the convention with her lecture on the Philhealth updates in relation to its coverage on Newborn Screening.
The new knowledge gained in this convention compensated ..(I hope) the long registration cues and delayed food due to the overwhelming attendees for this 10th Newborn Screening Convention .
It is our chapter’s pride through our well coordinated and unselfish 2012 PPS-STC’s NBS Team to host this successful convention whose aim is to “Save Lives of the Filipino Newborns!”