PANAJI: The Goa government will restart newborn baby screening facility in the state under National
Rural Health Mission, Health Minister Vishwajit Rane said today.
Goa was the first state to start screening of newborn babies when Digambar Kamat led government was in power in the year 2008 but it was later discontinued in the year 2012 by BJP-led government.
"Government of Goa is restarting newborn baby screening on top priority and will get funding from the Centre through the National Rural Health Mission," Rane told PTI today.
"Goa was the only state where 28 parameters were being checked for treatable metabolic disorders in babies – 'Heel to Heal' was the name of our campaign where two drops of blood were taken from the heel of the child and within 48 hours the tests were conducted so as to give a better quality life for
our children," he said.
"We will move in the direction of Singapore which has newborn baby screening linked to birth registrations - in the interests of our children of Goa," Rane said, adding, the process to restart the screening has begun.
"We are hoping that the screening would start from this year onwards as the cases of disorder amongst children are on the rise and we should diagnose them on time," the minister said.
In the year 2012, then health minister LaxmikantParsekar had told the state legislative assembly that Goa was spending Rs 8.33 crore on the scheme, which can instead be used to improve rural healthcare facilities like Primary Health Centres (PHCs) or Community Health Centres (CHCs).
Parsekar had made this announcement on the floor of the House responding to questions raised during passing of the demands for grants on health department.
The medical screening was done to detect metabolic disorders among the newborn children.
"Through these screenings we have found that one of 9,000 babies born at GMC has an amino acid disorder, one out of 11,500 babies has fatty acid disorder and one of 30,000-40,000 has an organic acid disorder," Parsekar had then told the Assembly.