Screening 'essential' to newborn health

Doctors in Dubai, UAE, have stressed that screening is the best way to ensure newborn children remain healthy. 

Screenings are currently compulsory for all children within 48 hours of birth. 

The child health unit of the Dubai Health Authority's (DHA) primary health care centre already provides essential neonatal screening services that aim to detect genetic, endocrine and metabolic disorders.

Manal Al Taryam, chief executive of Primary Health Care at DHA, said the tests were crucial in helping to detect hereditary or hormonal problems.

He added: “Most of the diseases we screen for during the first week of birth are treatable if we diagnose early, meaning the child can lead a normal life.

“If it goes undiagnosed, children can have complications such as growth retardation and mental retardation.”

Since 2003, doctors have uncovered 101 cases of congenital hypothyroidism – a condition found in around 1 in 4,000 newborns that can lead to growth failure and intellectual disability if it isn't treated. ADNFCR-2094-ID-801797489-ADNFCR