newborn screening promotion

Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital and Medical Center (MMMHMC) bagged the “Health Promotion Initiative of the Year” award with its Newborn Hearing Screening Promotion Program during the 2019 Healthcare Asia Award held at Singapore last May. This award aims to honor hospitals and clinics that rise above industry challenges and recognize initiatives that maximize the lucrative opportunities in the healthcare market. The award featured 50 awards and nominations hit nearly 200. This made MMMHMC the only retained DOH hospital to win this globally recognized award which means that the hospital is capable of improving even with market challenges while keeping patients satisfied and maintaining health revenues. The hospital outperformed other healthcare companies in Asia. Other participants from the Philippines were The Medical City, St. Luke’s Medical Center Global City and University of Sto.Tomas Hospital.


Healthcare Asia is the industry magazine serving Asia’s hospital owners, investors, administrators and policy makers. There are many magazines for clinical practitioners in medicine and healthcare, but Healthcare Asia focuses on the running of healthcare organizations, both public and private, and discusses the policy issues that govern healthcare in the Asian region. Each issue will bring a mixture of analysis, case studies, technology, and opinion to help inform the discussion and continue the debates. A typical issue would cover news in areas such as the current and most prevalent healthcare policies and trends in the region; the most significant healthcare issues around the administration and operation of hospitals; the latest equipment offered in the region, and more.
Hearing loss is still one of the most prevalent disabilities among newborns. Hearing is necessary in speech development and mental growth. According to Philippine National Ear Institute (PNEI), eight newborns are estimated to have profound deafness in the Philippines daily. Deafness has a tremendous effect on a person because the presence of which separates one socially, psychologically and mentally. It poses a hazard not only to the health of the individual but also to the community.

The Newborn Hearing Screening Program of MMMHMC spearheaded by the Department of Otorhinolaryngology- Head and Neck Surgery aims to increase the incidence of newborn Filipinos who will undergo hearing screening prior to hospital discharge. It targets to provide accessible, effective and efficient system of hearing services hence promoting the right of every Filipino newborn of a functional hearing as stated in the Republic Act 9709 known as the Universal Newborn Hearing Screening and Intervention Act of 2009 by the government. The early detection of deafness by Newborn Hearing Screening test will provide early intervention therefore preventing disability. Furthermore, provision of rehabilitation requires not only the help of the specialists but also the cooperation of the primary healthcare. Thus at the end of the program decreasing deafness through mitigations and interventions will lead to a healthier population.
This recognition of MMMHMC globally is a proof of the hospital’s effort in providing the best possible healthcare especially for indigent Filipinos. It is part of the hospital’s mission to expand its service delivery network through government financing through PhilHealth. In the future, it aims to intensify audiology and newborn hearing related research studies and to conduct ear care programs among day care centers and elementary schools.

By: Dr. Joy C. Alvarez