Newborn screening will be made mandatory’

Other than neonatal care and comprehensive primary care for children, the Health Department has plans to give importance to infant mental health also, she said.

Published: 26th February 2019 01:27 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th February 2019 05:41 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Giving a shot in the arm for the state’s fight against developmental diseases and birth defects, including inherited metabolic disorders, the private healthcare institutions will be asked to undertake newborn screening. A decision in this regard is expected to be taken by 2020. It was announced by Health Minister K K Shailaja during the inauguration of the International Child Health Summit at Mascot Hotel here on Monday.

Other than neonatal care and comprehensive primary care for children, the Health Department has plans to give importance to infant mental health also, she said. “The government is giving adequate importance to child healthcare. As part of it, speciality services will be introduced at the taluk level, and super-speciality services at the medical college level,” said Shailaja.

Delivering a talk on ‘Child health in India,’ Dr Renu Srivastava of Ministry of Health said, as it has been found the limited accessibility for mothers at neonatal units will have an adverse effect on the infant’s mental health, the hospitals should focus on developing neonatal ICUs where mothers and families have access to their newborns to stay with them.

Health Secretary Rajeev Sadanandan in his address on ‘Inclusive health development: Two innovative health intervention models of Kerala- A policy perspective’ said as the Centre is yet to provide state with the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, it will have to deal with the situation on its own.

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