Egypt’s Ministry of Health and Population announced on Saturday the examination of 192,000 new-borns since 13 July 2021 as part of a sub-initiative for the early detection of genetic diseases in new-borns under the larger 100 Million Healthy Lives presidential initiative.
The initiative aims to ensure a healthy generation that is free of disabilities.
Hossam Abdel Ghaffar — Official Spokesperson for the Ministry of Health and Population — indicated that the first phase of the initiative aims to detect 19 genetic diseases in premature babies in the nurseries of the Ministry of Health and Population’s hospitals nationwide.
For his part, Wael Abdel Razek — Head of the Healthcare and Nursing Sector — explained that the 19 diseases include congenital hypothyroidism, congenital adrenal hyperplasia, folic anaemia, cystic fibrosis, hereditary hyperlipidaemia, phenylketonuria, tetrahydropyran deficiency, and organic acidity of the blood.
It also includes elevated blood isovaleric acid, the elevation of propionic acid/methylmalonic in blood, maple urine disease, tyrosine elevation – type I, galactosemia, the elevation of homocysteine in urine, the elevation of arginine in the blood, elevation of citrulline in the blood, lack of ornithine carbamoyl transporter, oxidation of fatty acids, and biotinidase deficiency.
Abdel Razek noted 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 further explained that in the case of a positive sample, the child is referred to conduct a confirmatory test for the disease and then receive the necessary treatment free of charge according to the protocols established by the scientific committee of the initiative.
Moreover, Hala Abdel Rahman — Coordinator of the sub-initiative — indicated that the ministry has allocated 25 centres for the treatment of genetic diseases in new-borns, adding that these centres are being expanded successively to include all governorates of the republic.