Govt Mulls Mandatory Screening of the Newborn

Daijiworld Media Network - Goa (mb)
from special correspondent

Panaji, Dec 23: Goa government is studying the possibility of making screening of the newborn mandatory in the state which will help the medicos to track down and diagnose any deformities in the initial stage itself.

"If we are able to do it, then Goa will be the first state in the country to have mandatory baby-screening soon after the birth," state health minister Vishwajeet Rane stated.

The 14 lac population state has considerably good health services with low infant mortality rate.

"If we are able to trace deformities at initial stage, we can correct them rather than waiting for the child to grow," Rane said adding that Delhi government is working on similar line but Goa wants to be the first state to implement it.

The health minister has also got the consent from Goa chief minister Digamber Kamat, who during his liberation day speech on December 19, made a special mention about the plan. The state health department, which has failed to make HIV testing mandatory after opposition from certain sections, is pressing hard for this new concept.

To ensure that every parent screens the child, Rane said, "Iif they don't screen the baby within 48 hours, then they will not be given a birth certificate."

"I will take this issue with the cabinet. It will save future cost of parents. Certain things are correctable and certain things are not. The aim is to find out what is the status of the baby child," the minister said.

Rane said that this mandatory screening is adopted in places like Philippines, Bangladesh, Singapore and Abu Dhabi. "In Dubai it is becoming mandatory from January 1, 2008," he added.

The health minister also said that the state government intends to set up a medical city in the state by having tie ups with different ventures. "If you have a medical city hub that will not only increase tourism to the state of Goa but also give Goans access to world class medical facilities," Rane said. 


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