|A pregnant woman receives ultrasound at a hospital in HCM City. — VNA/VNS Photo Phương Vy|
HCM CITY — HCM City has taken the lead in prenatal and newborn screening, with 80 per cent of total births in the country receiving screening since 2011, according to the city’s Population and Family Planning Division.
The division released its report at a meeting on Wednesday in HCM City held on the occasion of Việt Nam’s Population Day on December 26.
The report said that 247,900 pregnant women in the city had been screened since 2011, including 14,000 who were found to have some kind of disease. A many as 233,400 newborns were tested, and of these, 970 had a disease.
Prenatal and newborn screening has reduced the rate of babies born with disabilities.
Nguyễn Hữu Hưng, deputy head of the city’s Department of Health, said there was still low awareness about the benefits of prenatal and newborn screening.
The Government only provides free prenatal and newborn tests to detect abnormal health problem and tests for a Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency and for congenital hypothyroidism for newborns. Other tests are charged.
Nguyễn Văn Tân, deputy head of the General Office for Population Family Planning, said the city had seen positive results from prenatal and newborn screening.
However, the city has the lowest fertility rate in the country, with 1.3 to 1.4 children per woman.
The city should develop action plans to raise the fertility rate, Tân said. — VNS