The Institute of Human Genetics (IHG) began in 1990 as the Medical Genetics Unit of the University of the Philippines College of Medicine which in 1999 became as one of the service and research oriented institutes of the National Institutes of Health-University of the Philippines Manila (NIH-UP). Since then all services of the Medical Genetics Unit were transferred to the Institute and is now the largest provider of genetic services in the country.


Birth Defects

Congenital anomalies continue to be in the top 10 causes of infant mortality in the Philippines for the past 50 years. All newborns with single or multiple birth defects are all put under this category. Until the present times, there are no clear details on the types of birth defects and the causes are generally unknown. Establishing a surveillance program to provide incidence rates and other important information about birth defects are deemed necessary in determining the etiologies of birth defects in the local setting.

To address this need, the Philippine Birth Defects Surveillance Study Group was established in 2008. The study group is spearheading the establishment of a surveillance program for newborns with birth defects in every hospital in the country. The group started with 32 participating facilities and has expanded to another 42 facilities last January 2009. Another 64 facilities are targeted to be included in the study group by the year 2010. The Philippine Birth Defects Surveillance Project is envisioned to cover all babies born in health facilities and at home. The project is a collaboration of the IHG-NIH-UP and the National Center for Disease Prevention and Control of the Department of Health. It is partly supported by the March of Dimes Foundation, USA.