To continue the strong partnership, the annual Northern Luzon Consultative Meeting (NLCM), a conference of the NBS Stakeholders in the Ilocos and Cagayan Valley Regions was conducted virtually last August 17-18, 2021. The meeting served as a ground for updates, implementation review, and planning.  This year was the fifth conference and it was attended by the following agencies: Center for Health Development of Ilocos and Cagayan Valley regions, Newborn Screening Reference Center (NSRC), Newborn Screening Center – Northern Luzon (NSC-NL),  Newborn Screening Continuity Clinics of ITRMC and CVMC, G6PD Confirmatory Testing Centers of MMMHMC, ITRMC, CVMC and R1MC, as well as the Provincial Health Offices of Isabela, Ilocos Sur, Ilocos Norte, Pangasinan, Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino

The two (2) day consultative meeting started with an opening dialogue with the NSC-NL Unit Head, Dr. Ma. Paz Virginia K. Otayza, who highlighted the encouragement of the program partners to continue with the innovative works and partnerships. Thereafter, the program update was imparted by the NSRC Unit Head on Quality Assurance, Ms. Karen Asuncion R. Panol, who emphasized on the targets and goals of the National Newborn Screening Program. Subsequently, NBS Stakeholders in Northern Luzon such as the NSC-NL, DOH-CHDs 1 and 2, NBS Continuity Clinics in ITRMC and CVMC, and G6PD Confirmatory Testing Centers presented their accomplishment reports, challenges, and future plans, followed by an open forum. 

As one of the major outputs of the meeting, the Northern Luzon NBS Regional Contingency Plan was updated by the group during the second day, where the inputs and stratagems from all the participants from the regional down to the provincial level were collated. This activity was designed to help the Northern Luzon NBS Team to respond effectively in the future for any significant event or situation, especially during times of disaster and pandemic. 

Indeed, the virtual convergence was a fruitful collaboration, where each member was inspired to become better through a redirected focus on saving our newborns from the debilitating effects of congenital metabolic disorders.