Bengaluru girl starts campaign for newborn screening programme

16-year-old Shreya Thota started a petition to appeal to the Ministry of Health to implement the programme to potentially improve and save the lives of around 2.5 lakh children.

Published: 23rd January 2022 06:32 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd January 2022 06:32 AM   |  A+A-


For representational purposes

Express News Service

BENGALURU: A Bengaluru girl has started a campaign for a nationwide newborn screening (NBS) programme, on the lines of similar initiatives in the United Kingdom, Denmark and China.

Shreya Thota, a 16-year-old studying at the International School Bengaluru, started a petition to appeal to the Ministry of Health to implement the programme to potentially improve and save the lives of around 2.5 lakh children in India every year.

"Only around 2 per cent of children are privately screened in India. Kerala, for example, has consistently had one of the lowest child mortality rates and they have implemented a statewide NBS programme. If it's feasible for one state, it has to be feasible in the country as a whole," she said. She said it isn’t too farfetched for India to implement such a programme.

"The goal of the petition is both to approach the ministry to implement the programme as well as spread awareness, especially for new parents, to let them know that screening their children is possible and it can prevent a number of genetic disorders," she said.

The petition, hosted on, has over 3,700 signatures so far. Shreya said that once the petition collects 5,000 signatures, she would try and approach the ministry, as well as raise awareness on the issue on social media.

"While I'm not an expert, I think it would be beneficial if a task force is formed, specifically to find out how to implement such a programme," she added. NBS programmes have been used worldwide to screen newborns for preventable and treatable diseases.

Shreya gives an example of phenylketonuria, an inherited disorder that increases a certain amino acid in the blood and can potentially lead to severe brain damage, intellectual disabilities and even seizures. "But with an NBS programme, it's possible to screen for such disorders and ensure that proper treatment, like a low protein diet, can be implemented immediately," she said.


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp