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Screening reduces child deformities in Hà Nội

Update: August, 10/2016 - 10:17
Prenatal and postnatal screening has helped reduce the risk of deformities among a majority of newborns. — Photo

HÀ NỘI — Prenatal and postnatal screening has helped reduce the risk of deformities among a majority of newborns, a doctor at Hà Nội Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital has said.

As many as 80 per cent of the 40,000 children born in this hospital every year receive pre-birth and post-birth screening for deformities, according to Dr Lê Thanh Thúy, director of the hospital’s centre for pre-birth and newborn screening.

Currently, the centre can detect 35 different diseases in infants through screening, including cardiac disorders and Sickle Cell Anemia, Thalassemia and other blood disorders.

The diseases can be treated if diagnosed in time, Thúy said on Monday, adding that screening was one of the most vital steps in the early diagnosis and treatment of a number of serious children’s diseases.

Launched two years ago with the aim of reducing the number of babies born with congenital defects, the centre was one of the country’s first health care units to provide prenatal and postnatal screening service in diagnosing hearing deformities.

The application of high-tech screening facilities, including the Triple Test technology, has helped the centre boost its consulting and diagnostic service and cure prenatal and postnatal disease.

The centre is making a contribution to the city’s target of improving population quality between 2016 and 2020, according to the city authority.

A project approved last month by the Hà Nội People’s Committee with an investment of about VNĐ160 billion (US$7.2 million) to be carried out across the city is expected to help at least 80 per cent of local expectant women receive prenatal screenings.

The project targets newborn screenings for 85 per cent of infants to detect defects and 50 per cent newborn screenings to detect heart defects. The project will also focus on early detection and intervention in cases of birth defects and genetic abnormalities during pregnancy and after birth.

As part of the project, hearing tests will be conducted for babies aged 0-60 months, and Thalassemia (a blood disorder) tests for primary and secondary school students in disadvantaged districts.

According to the World Health Organisation, about 8 million children worldwide are born with a deformities every year, accounting for 1.73 per cent. As many as 95 per cent of those can be healed with timely intervention. — VNS

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