DOH – Ilocos region donates ABR machine to three APEX hospitals

Representatives from MMMHC, ITRMC and R1MC receives the Automated Brainstem Response (ABR) Machine from Regional Director Paula Paz M. Sydiongco during the turnover ceremony held in San Fernando City, La Union on August 15, 2023. The equipment enables to confirm hearing loss among infants. 

Department of Health – Ilocos Region has donated three Automated Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) Machine to its three-apex hospitals during a turnover ceremony held in San Fernando City, La Union on August 15, 2023, for them to be able to perform and confirm hearing loss among newborn infants. 

Among the recipients were the Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital and Medical Center (MMMHMC) in Batac, Ilocos Norte, the Region 1 Medical Center (R1MC) in Dagupan City, Pangasinan and the Ilocos Training and Regional Medical Center (ITRMC) in San Fernando City, La Union.  

“We hope to detect and screen hearing loss timely in infants providing them the chance to be given immediate and proper intervention for their optimal development,” Regional Director Paula Paz M. Sydiongco stated. 

“And with these essential machines in place at our public hospitals, everyone can avail of its services, especially those in underserved communities, and parents can have the means to identify and address potential hearing impairments among their infants. Hindi na nila kailangang pumunta pa sa malayo at gumastos para maipa-hearing test ang kanilang mga anak.”

Hearing allows infants to develop speech and language skills by listening and imitating sounds from the environment and through hearing they recognize familiar voices from people around them. Infant’s cognitive, social and emotional development can be greatly affected if they have hearing impairment. 

An ABR test is done when a baby fails a hearing screening test given in the hospital shortly after birth, or if there is a suspicion of hearing loss that was not confirmed through more conventional hearing tests. 

An ABR test costs around ₱2,000 in private healthcare facilities. 

Sydiongco added that in the first quarter of 2023, there are 11,801 recorded live birth in the region. “We have a responsibility to these new members of our society to provide them the healthcare they need through newborn screening and routine vaccination.” 

The Multifunctional Automated Auditory Brainstem Response and Auditory Steady State Response (ABR-ASSR) machines cost ₱5,285,000.00 each.