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PIA Press Release

DOH-Caraga strengthens newborn screening campaign

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

Butuan City (16 March) -- To ensure every child's health from its birth, the Center for Health Development (CHD) of the Department of Health (DOH) Caraga strengthens it campaign on the newborn screening implementation especially to the health facilities in the region.

DOH-Caraga bared that newborn screening is an essential public health strategy that enables early detection of several metabolic disorders that could lead to mental retardation if not treated earlier. It has been an integral part of routine newborn care as mandated by the Republic Act 9288 otherwise known as the Newborn Screening Act of 2004.

According to reports, Caraga region at present have 61 newborn screening facilities. Among these facilities, only few have reached the target of screening 85% of the delivered babies. Through monitoring and evaluation of these facilities, major persistent issues that hamper increase of coverage were uncovered. The low performances of the facility are due to the increasing numbers of indigent patients and lack of information and education of parents regarding importance of newborn screening.

In line with this, CHD-DOH recently conducted the Sales Conference among partners in Newborn Screening program Implementation. The conference was conducted to ensure that the targeted coverage is met through adequate and sustained Newborn Screening information and education at all levels and lobby for funding to sponsor screening of indigent patients.

Also, part of the activity was also to rally support of the individual/s groups who have powerful influence at the grassroots level and have big roles in changing the lives of the future members of the society.

With this advocacy, CHD-DOH is optimistic that families will bare with the implementation of the screening implementation as well as to all health facilities in the region. (PIA-Caraga) [top]

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