Mindanao NBS Leaders Convene: Assessing Challenges, Forging Success in Newborn Screening

Mindanao NBS Leaders Convene: Assessing Challenges, Forging Success in Newborn Screening


Participants visit and observe the laboratory workflow at the NSC Mindanao.


The Mindanao NBS team convened for the Annual Zonal Meeting on November 21-23, 2023 at the Eden Nature Park in Davao City. A total of thirty-three (33) participants attended this year’s meeting composed of program managers and NBS nurse coordinators from the Mindanao’s DOH-CHD Regional Offices; Follow up teams from the Mindanao’s NBS Continuity Clinics; nurses and dietician from the Center for Human Genetics Services of CHGS Mindanao; Unit Head, Program Manager, Project Development Officers, and Follow-up nurses from NSC Mindanao.


The Zonal Meeting aimed to gather the head implementers of the newborn screening program in Mindanao, assess the state of the program in the region, address program issues and concerns, and come up with strategies and practices that will ultimately meet the NBS program’s set goals and needs.


It started by presenting the NBS status and updates in Mindanao. Each CHD, NBSCC, and CHGS also reported its accomplishments, challenges, and plans. To touch base with the NSFs in the area, the participants visited three (3) newborn screening facilities in Davao namely, the Marilog Birthing Home, Marilog District Hospital, and Southern Philippines Medical Center. On the last day of the activity, the participants visited and observed the laboratory workflow at the Newborn Screening Center-Mindanao.


This year’s host was the DOH-CHD Regional Office XI. Dr. Anabelle Yumang, Regional Director, welcomed the participants and expressed her compelling support to the NBS program. The meeting concluded with the agreement that next year’s meeting will be sponsored by the DOH CHD XII and will be held in South Cotabato.


The Mindanao zonal meeting is an annual tradition unique to the Mindanao NBS implementers which started in the year 2009, where all CHD offices and teams from NSC-Mindanao meet and strategize on how to better implement the program that is tailored to the dynamics in the Mindanao grounds. The activity was born from the brilliant minds of the pioneers of the Mindanao NBS team: DOH CHD X Regional Director Dr. Ellenietta N. Gamolo, former Program Manager of the DOH CHD X; Ms. Clarose Mascardo (retired), Program Manager of CHD XI, and Dr. Conchita G. Abarquez, Unit Head of NSC Mindanao.


It is considered a legacy that was passed on to the younger generation of Mindanao NBS implementers. PBermudez