The Ministry of Health and Population announced that 154,000 children have been examined as part of the presidential sub-initiative for the early detection of genetic diseases in newborns since its launch on 13 July 2021.
The sub-initiative is being implemented under the umbrella of the 100 Million Healthy Lives Presidential Initiative to ensure a healthy generation that is free of disability.
Hossam Abdel Ghaffar — Official Spokesperson for the Ministry of Health and Population — explained that the first phase of the initiative aims to detect 19 genetic diseases in premature babies in the nurseries of the ministry’s hospitals nationwide.
For his part, Wael Abdel Razek — Head of the Health Care and Nursing Sector — clarified that the examination is carried out by taking a blood sample from the child’s heel and analysing it in the laboratories of the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which are equipped with the latest international devices in the field of detecting genetic diseases.
He explained that in the case of a positive sample, the child is given a referral for a confirmatory test for the disease, after which they begin receiving treatment free of charge according to the protocols established by the Scientific Committee of the sub-initiative.
Moreover, Hala Abdel Rahman — Coordinator of the Sub-Initiative —said that 25 centres have been allocated to treat genetic diseases in new-borns, and these centres are being expanded successively to include all governorates of the republic.