Sunday, July 5, 2009

Goa to be first state to screen newborns

Goa is slated to be the first state in the country to launch a mandatory programme for screening of new born babies for deformities and also to conduct a nucleic acid test on all blood donations to avoid any blood transfusion related infections in both government and private hospitals in the state. Accordingly, the public health act is  awaiting an amendment which will make to mandatory for all hospitals whether privaGoa new born baby screeningte or government aided, to carry out screening of new born babies in the state of Goa which is being done in the best interest of children in Goa.

While the screening is mandatory for the hospital authorities to carry out, the parents are expected to be taken into confidence before the screening is done. The Goa health Minister Mr Vishwajeet Rane said that the procedure will be a step ahead to secure a child's future and that all treatable disorders will be identified immediately after birth and corrective measures will be taken.

As per estimates, over 45 % children are born in government hosGoa new born babypitals in Goa while nearly 55% are born in the private nursing homes. The procedure to mandatorily screen new born babies after birth is already being followed in government hospitals in Goa since the last one year and the facility is available at the Goa medical college(GMC) and hospital.

As per available data, out of an estimated 8,200 new born babies screened in the last year, 53 had some metabolic problems. Of these , 31 babies survived with timely treatment. Majority of the children suffered from fatty acid oxidation disorder.

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