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India plans universal screening of newborns amid logistical challenges

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e7582 (Published 08 November 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e7582
  1. Ganapati Mudur
  1. 1New Delhi

India’s health ministry plans to introduce universal screening of children for disabilities and deficiencies next year, more than a decade after sections of the paediatric profession had first suggested that newborn screening should receive priority on a par with immunisation.

The programme will initially screen 140 million children, from newborns up to children six years of age, India’s health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad told a conference of state health ministers and health officials from across India. A senior health official clarified earlier this week that the programme would begin in district hospitals in early 2013 and eventually expand to primary health centres serving clusters of villages.

“We’ll start screening for hearing, vision, and certain mental disabilities,” said Prasanna …

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