Newborn Screening: Need of the hour in India
Mr. Rajesh Patel, CEO - IVD, India Trivitron Healthcare In India, we often hear this famous adage, 'Prevention is better than cure.' As our population increases, health-related issues become more common, which calls for the advancement of technology
Mr. Rajesh Patel,
CEO – IVD, India
In India, we often hear this famous adage, ‘Prevention is better than cure.’ As our population increases, health-related issues become more common, which calls for the advancement of technology to detect and treat such issues. Discovering and treating health problems at an early stage is one of the most effective ways to cure, manage and eliminate them. The Neonatal Screening Program, which is also known as Newborn Screening, aims to identify problems at an early stage.
In India, approximately 2.7 crores new babies are born every year and there are an estimated 16 lakh babies born with birth defects including about 6.2 lakh babies are born with genetic disorders. A low infant mortality rate suggests a good level of healthcare, which is an essential critical indicator for a country’s health and standard of life. Causes of infant mortality include premature birth, sepsis or meningitis, sudden infant death syndrome, and pneumonia. The current global infant mortality rate is 27.334 deaths per 1,000 live births, a 2.29% decline from 2020.
India’s infant mortality rate has dropped to 30 (per 1,000 live births), but the decline has slowed down in the last 5 years. Its decline reflects improved medical care and hygiene. Another, evidence that the country’s living circumstances are improving is the increase in life expectancy at birth, although we still have a long way to go. The vast majority of India’s population lives in rural areas, where living conditions, as well as access to medical care and hygiene, are often fewer and more challenging than in urban areas. As a result, the government is taking steps to ensure that progress is maintained and the gap is bridged.
New Born Screening is an apt solution to decrease infant mortality rate as well as to improve the health standards. It is a preventive paediatric screening service that is done on the newborn baby within the first 72 hours of its birth to assess the possibility of any disorders.
New Born Screening includes a set of special tests, that are performed within one or two-day-old infants to check for any serious health disorders that do not show any sign at birth. The tests scan for any conditions or symptoms that can hinder their development. These conditions, if left undiagnosed & untreated, can turn critical and the baby can develop very serious ailments which might be life-threatening. Due to this, New Born Screening is essential to detect and treat diseases even before they cause harm to these tiny beings. In the current times, it has become even more critical, especially in light of the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus. The pandemic has drastically altered our perspective on healthcare infrastructure. More than ever, we need to diagnose illnesses at an early stage for a more effective treatment.
The nine most common newborn disorders are found in amino acid metabolism, hormones and enzymes. These disorders have been termed as Inborn Errors of Metabolism or IEM.
Trivitron New Born Screening kits can help diagnose or detect rare and serious health problems in newborns and IEM. These kits can diagnose various diseases in newborns like Homocystinuria, Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia, Congenital Hypothyroidism, Phenylketonuria, Congenital Hypothyroidism, Galactosaemia, Cystic fibrosis (CF), and many more.
There are several benefits of undergoing New Born Screening test, as it aids detect child born with inborn errors in their early stages. Most babies who are identified with diseases at birth can be treated early and this helps them to grow up healthy with normal development. Early screening allows the medical experts to treat conditions before they make a baby sick. It also supports parents to save huge costs on not only special education of their diagnosed children but also from expensive medical treatments and additional healthcare services.
Trivitron’s New Born Screening LC-MS/MS Kit, SCID-SMA Real-time PCR Kit, and NeoMass CAH Kit can screen more than 50 metabolic disorders, including amino acid disorders, organic acid disorders, and fatty acid oxidation disorders in neonates. The SCID-SMA Real-time PCR Kit can screen SCID and SMA disorders and NeoMass CAH Kit can detect Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH), which is one of the most common inborn errors of metabolism
Early diagnosis of diseases with the help of New Born Screening Kits help avoid severe neurological disorders, motor impairment, low development rate, and epilepsy, among other life-threatening issues. Early intervention can save from expensive medical treatment in the long run.
Over the last decade, India has evolved and improved by implementing New Born Screening in government hospitals to test for metabolic and genetic diseases. This initiative has steadily decreased the infant mortality rate in India as a result of the implementation of successful public health. Newborn Screening has become increasingly important as a preventive public health measure. Having an effective New Born Screening programme for testing all newborns in India could greatly contribute to creating a ‘Healthy and Happy India’.