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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

NRHM to start newborn-screening programme

The National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) is all set to start newborn-screening programmes in all government hospitals in the state. This is part of the mission's bid to save newborn babies from neonatal disorders. The screening tests will be done free of cost. 
When an infant is subjected to this test, doctors can identify whether the baby has neonatal disorders before he/she shows any symptoms of it. NRHM state director M Beena told TOI that they had received state and Central approval for this programme. "NRHM has allotted Rs 60 lakh for this project and the state health department has sanctioned Rs 44 lakh. The programme will be implemented in all government hospitals soon," said Beena. Blood samples will be collected from the baby within 24 hours of delivery.

 The blood will be allowed to dry on a piece of absorbent paper and it will be sent to the newborn-screening laboratory for testing, said Dr Prabha Chandran Nair, additional director of health service (planning). The newborn-screening facility will be available in Public Health and Clinical Laboratory, Thiruvananthapuram and regional laboratories in Ernakulam and Kozhikode. 

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