Health Policy

First state in India to have baby screening

Goa on Saturday became the first state in the country to have mandatory screening of new born babies to diagnose them from untreated metabolic disorders. “From today onwards all the babies born in the state’s government hospitals would be screened while subsequently we will also try to involve private nursing homes in the project,” State Health Minister Vishwajeet Rane told reporters. Rane inaugurated the screening facility at Goa Medical College and Hospital at Bambolim here, which is outsourced to a Bangalore-based firm Neogen labs. “The screening will be done in partnership with Neogen labs using tandem mass spectrometry technology licenced from Perkinelmer Genetics, USA,” Rane said. Government figures indicate that the state has 23,000 new born babies annually of which 8,000 deliver in government run hospitals. “We have become the first state to implement the mandatory screening. We could do it because we are small state,” the health minister said. The screening will have testing for 50 metabolic disorders.

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