Fortunately, we now have the Expanded Newborn Screening (ENBS) Program in the Philippines. The ENBS tests for at least 22 additional disorders like amino acid disorders and hemoglobinopathies, which affect the shape and number of red blood cells.
Newborn screening is a simple procedure
It is important to note that the test is quick and simple.
A healthcare professional (doctor, nurse, a trained midwife, or medical technologist) will only collect blood samples from your baby’s heel. They then blot the blood on a special absorbent paper and bring the specimen to the National Screening Center.
The test is time-sensitive
The crucial question is, “When should the newborn screening be done in the Philippines?”.
Keep in mind that the test is time-sensitive. The blood has to be collected immediately – usually 24 to 48 hours after birth, before mother and child leave the lying-in clinic or hospital.Some pediatricians / pediatric endocrinologist prefer 48 hours because of the stabilization of hormones at that point
ENBS is part of the Newborn Care Package under PhilHealth
The ENBS costs about PHP1,750, but parents can avail it under PhilHealth’s Newborn Care Package if the newborn is eligible. Newborn babies are eligible if they meet all these criteria:
- One of their parents is an eligible PhilHealth Member.
- They were born in PhilHealth-accredited facilities.
- You avail of the service right after the delivery.
There is a waiting time for the results
Results of the ENBS are usually available from 1 to 2 months after the National Screening Center received the specimen.
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