Satellite clinics of the Newborn Screening Continuity Clinic - Region 6: Establishment of a Community-Based Networking System in Western Visayas, Philippines

Renilyn P. Reyes, Karen June V. Ventilacion, Grace C. Panes-Exmundo, Florence Osano, Karen Asuncion R. Panol, Frederick David E. Beltran, Michelle E. Abadingo, Ebner Bon G. Maceda, Carmencita D. Padilla


Background:  With the increasing coverage of the newborn screening (NBS) program in the Philippines, the number of patients being followed-up has also been increasing. The NBS continuity clinics (NBSCCs) have continuously been creating strategies to improve long-term patient health outcomes.

Objective:  This paper aimed to describe the establishment of a community-based networking system of satellite clinics.

Methodology:  A document review of resources including powerpoint presentations, a local ordinance, Newborn Screening Reference Center database of statistics of the NBSCCs from 2015 to 2021 and a Department of Health - Center for Health Development memorandum was done.

Results:  NBS satellite clinics were developed as a strategy for improving the tracking and long-term follow-up of patients confirmed for one of the conditions in the NBS panel. Satellite clinics offering long-term follow-up services were set up in hospitals strategically located in the provinces of the Western Visayas, especially in areas with a high number of patients. Capacity building activities were initiated among the established NBS satellite clinic core teams which were composed of doctors, nurses, and/or midwives. A total of 15 satellite clinics spread out across the six provinces of Western Visayas were established in 2017. By the end of 2020, the Western Visayas region had a total of 528 confirmed patients endorsed by the Newborn Screening Center Visayas (NSC V) and the recall rate increased from 62.77 % in 2015 to 87.79 % in 2020.

Conclusion:  The establishment of satellite clinics provided a region-wide accessibility and availability of longterm follow-up services to the patients as seen by the increase in the patient recall rate. The benefits were seen especially during the implementation of strict border controls due to the pandemic which ensured the continuity of care of the patients in the region. This concept can serve as a model for other NBSCCs in the archipelago and for other regions across the Philippines.


satellite clinics, newborn screening continuity clinics

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Print ISSN: 2704-3517; Online ISSN: 2738-042X