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200 healthcare professionals, volunteers, unite for Persons with Down syndrome

Around 200 doctors, nurses, dentists, psychiatrists, and therapists will unite for persons with Down syndrome at the annual free clinic of United for Down on March 20 at the Bayanihan Center, Mandaluyong City.


United for Down



The annual free clinic is the key event of United for Down, a joint project of Unilab Foundation, Inc. (ULF) and Down Syndrome Association of the Philippines, Inc. (DSAPI). United for Down is a healthcare program that provides access to free health services for persons with Down syndrome. It is held in celebration of World Down Syndrome Awareness Day.


Now on its second year, the free clinic has yet again united volunteer specialists, groups, and individuals.


Healthcare professionals from the Philippine General Hospital, specializing in different fields such as pediatrics, cardiology, orthopedics, and EENT will provide free consultations. Therapists from Communicare will give physical, occupational, and speech therapy sessions. Various Unilab brands will provide medical equipment, medicine, and vaccines. Other groups who will join the bayanihan are Best Buddies Philippines, who will provide activities to keep the children entertained; and Wings Technology, who will manage and ensure the safety of the event.


More than 200 children and adults with Down syndrome are expected to benefit from the program during and beyond the event. Patients who register at the March 20 event will be entitled to free lifetime primary medical consultations from volunteer specialists and United for Down’s partner health clinics, HealthFirst. They will also be included in a free 6-month hepatitis vaccine program.


United for a healthier, more inclusive Philippines


United for Down is part of ULF’s mission to build a healthier Philippines.


“A healthier Philippines is where all 100 million Filipinos have the space to be holistically healthy – physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Nobody gets left behind; not even those who are born different, and are marginalized in opportunities,” states Rhodora Palomar-Fresnedi, Executive Director of ULF.


ULF does this through Project Inclusion, an employment program for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs), particularly those with intellectual and neurodevelopmental disabilities. Project Inclusion enables their gainful employment by matching the supply of employable PWDs to the demand of companies who are willing and able to hire them. United for Down is a key initiative to help ensure that persons with Down syndrome who are qualified to contribute to the workplace are ready and fit for employment.


“Given the right conditions, persons with Down syndrome can make their unique contribution to the workplace and be productive members of society. That is why we need to address all aspects that affect their employability – technical skills, social skills, and most importantly, health,” stresses Palomar-Fresnedi.


Down syndrome is a genetic disorder that affects mental and physical development, putting affected people at increased risk of health complications such as heart defects, vision and hearing problems, hypothyroidism, and infections.


“Many persons with Down syndrome are born with medical conditions that require proper attention which can make a big difference in their overall health and their ability to live more normal lives,” says Elmer Lapena, President of DSAPI. The group has organized many free clinics before, but United for Down is the biggest in terms of participants and volunteers.


“The United For Down free clinic is a huge undertaking, as it entails getting many doctors, therapists, and other medical specialists in a single venue, to attend to close to 200 persons with Down syndrome in one day. Through the generous sponsorship of the Unilab Foundation, this program helps to ensure that persons with Down syndrome can avail of the essential medical attention regardless of their socio-economic status,” Lapena adds.


Unite with us


United for Down’s annual free clinic is a one-day event, but the road to the inclusion of persons with Down syndrome in the workplace is an ongoing journey – and you can take the first steps with Unilab Foundatio .


If you know employable persons with Down syndrome, refer them to the foundation. If you are in touch with a company who is willing to hire, let them know as well. Or if you’re simply interested in the cause and other ways you can contribute, get in touch with Unilab Foundation. Together, we can all build a healthier, more inclusive Philippines, one PWD at a time.


For more information on how you can help, visit

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