Egypt screens 107,000 neonates under initiative to detect genetic diseases



Fri, 06 May 2022 - 12:01 GMT


Fri, 06 May 2022 - 12:01 GMT

CAIRO – 6 May 2022: The Ministry of Health and Population announced screening around 107,000 babies for genetic diseases since the launching of the presidential initiative for the early detection of such diseases on 13 July 2021.

The first phase consisted of screening babies at public hospitals’ incubators, while the second one is set to expand the scope of the service to encompass babies born at all healthcare units nationwide, the ministry said.

Spokesperson of the ministry Hossam Abdel Ghaffar noted that the initiative screens newborn babies for 19 genetic diseases.

The diseases babies are screened for include congenital hypothyroidism; hemolytic anemia; congenital adrenal hyperplasia; cystic fibrosis; hereditary hyperlipidemia; ketonuria; tetrahydropyridine deficiency; Isovaleric acidaemia; and elevated levels of propionic and methylmalonic acids in blood.

This is in addition to maple syrup urine disease; hypertyrosinemia; galactosemia; homocystinuria; high arginine levels; increased citrulline; ornithine transcarbamylase deficiency; fatty acid oxidation; and biotinidase deficiency.

Egypt’s Health Ministry announced examining more than 2.9 million infants as part of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi’s initiative for the early detection of hearing loss and impairment in newborns.

Health Ministry Spokesman Hossam Abdel Ghaffar said the number of hearing examination centers for newborns until the age of 28 days has increased to 3,500 health units in all Egyptian governorates.

Also, more than 7,000 non-Egyptian children residing in the country have been examined as part of the initiative based on the directives of President Sisi, Abdel-Ghaffar added.

Early detection of hearing impairment or loss facilitates treatment opportunities and helps children avoid speech problems that can cause psychological illness for newborns.

In mid-April, Egypt’s Health Ministry affirmed that the presidential health initiatives launched over the past years for the early detection and treatment of a number of diseases have so far supported 86 million people.

The initiatives launched under the major initiative of “100 Million Healthy Lives” include an initiative to support the health of Egyptian women and an initiative to examine and treat people with chronic diseases and detect kidney disease.

This is in addition to an initiative to detect and treat hearing loss and impairment for newborns, an initiative to eliminate surgical waiting lists, an initiative to support maternal and fetal health, as well as the vaccination campaign against the emerging coronavirus pandemic.

Also, the ministry said 23,906,809 females were screened for breast cancer, hypertension, diabetes, and obesity since the launching of the Women Health Initiative in July 2019.

The service is offered to females aged above 18 at 3,538 healthcare units, and 114 hospitals nationwide.

As for those diagnosed with breast cancer, they can receive free of charge treatment at 14 university hospitals, and 14 centers affiliated to the Ministry of Health and Population.



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