National Newborn Screening Week

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The National Newborn Screening Week is an annual celebration held every first week of October to increase public awareness on the benefits of newborn screening and encourage their openness to the practice.

Newborn screening (NBS) is the practice of testing a baby for potentially fatal disorders that may not be evident at birth. These congenital metabolic disorders could lead to mental retardation or death if not detected early. NBS helps detect disorders before they manifest so treatment can immediately be given. The earlier the detection, the higher the chances for a healthy and normal development.

In a speech delivered by President Benigno Simeon Aquino III on the National Newborn Screening Week 2012 held at the Newborn Screening Reference Center of the National Institutes of Health–Philippines, University of the Philippines Manila on 7 October 2012, he said that this celebration also serves as a way to give importance to the pivotal role health plays in securing our paths to revitalization. He added that we need to address potential difficulties in the youth's development to safeguard the growth of our people.

The celebration is pursuant to Presidential Proclamation No. 540, released on January 2004, which declares the first week of October each year as “National Newborn Screening Awareness Week”. On April 7 of that same year, the enactment of RA 9288 known as the Newborn Screening Act of 2004 was done. On October 7, the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Newborn Screening Act were signed.

In September 2001, the data from 201 participating hospitals which offer newborn screening reported confirmed 48 cases of congenital hypothyroidism, 21 cases of congenital adrenal hyperplasia, 2 cases of galactosemia, 4 cases of hyperphenylalanemia and 1,495 cases of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency.

There is now a growing awareness on newborn screening and its benefits, but coverage of screened newborns remained low and wanting. The DOH is still hoping that every parent informed, every newborn screened, every health facility equipped and with health practitioner trained to provide newborn screening service.


NBS Week and NBS-Related Activities 2012


  • Representation to the 10th Newborn Screening Convention, SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City

North Luzon Cluster

  • Orientation of Youth Leaders - Central Luzon State University, Nueva Ecija
  • Distribution of Pink Brochures at Science City of Munoz, Nueva Ecija
  • Newborn Screening Campaign in Brgy. Bantug Science City of Munoz Nueva Ecija
  • NBS Week Celebration and General Assembly at University of La Salette, Santiago City, Isabela
  • VYLH-Philippines Students' Health Forum (Region II) in partnership with CHD Region II

NCR-South Luzon Cluster

  • NCR Expansion Orientation (National Institutes of Health - UP Manila)
  • Participation to the NSC-NIH Reunion of Saved Babies (La Mesa Ecopark)
  • Information Dissemination and exhibit in Lipa
  • Participation to the Philippine Obstetrics and Gynecological Society (POGS)-NCR Pap Smear Day (Mary Johnston Eveland Hall, Tondo Manila)
  • The 8K Challenge- A campaign to distribute 8,000 NBS Brochures within the month of October

Visayas Cluster

  • Participation to the NSC-Visayas Reunion of Saved Babies (Negros Oriental)
  • Operation BB (Bigay Brochure)-
  • VYLH City Wide Orientation
  • Barangay Newborn- NBS and folic acid awareness campaign lecture
  • NBS Hanap Buntis 2012
  • NBS Hour- One hour of NBS Information dissemination
  • Participation to the Reunion of Saved Babies



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