Kerala to introduce Comprehensive screening for newborns.

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Kerala:- First time ever,Kerala will soon introduce Comprehensive newborn Screening (CNS) for early detection of any birth abnormalities and critical congenital illnesses among infants within 48 hours of birth, to improve the quality of survival of babies.

This initiative will help the state bring down its infant mortality rate.

Currently Kerala is screening all its new borns in public sector health facilities for inherent metabolic disorder( blood test) and shortfall of hearning( OAE- Oto Acoustic Emissions test).

At present still Health department after starting various programmes does not have a foolproof mechanism to track the infants who needs continuous follow-up treatment. Last year, a programme was also initiated for early identification and management of congential heart diseases ( Hridyam) in Kerala.

“When we are ensuring the survival of premature babies and babies with low birth weight, it is also important that we ensure the quality of their survival. Under CNS initiative, we plan to converge all newborn screening programmes under a single umbrella on a web-based platform, with a unified reporting system and link ups with District Early Intervention Centres (DEICs) so that every infant is tracked,”says M. Sreehari, State Nodal Officer (Child Health), National Health Mission.

Protocols would be developed for CNS to be followed by all delivery points in public sector.

An Android App has been developed for visible birth defect reporting and track at all the delivery point, which will link every positive case of disabilities recorded , to the District Early Intervention Centres(DEIC) and the field workers concerned in the loacality, who will monitor and follow-up the infant.

The plan is to follow-up infants born in private sector utilising the Health Department’s field workers within the first 28 days of birth and link them into the web- based reporting system.

The public health facilities are handling 1.35 lakh deliveries out of 5 lakh in the state annually.

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