December 23, 2007

Screening of new born baby to be made mandatory

Goa government is contemplating the possibility of making screening of new born babies mandatory in the state, which will help 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 said.

The state, with 14 lakh population, has a 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 a similar lines but Goa wants to be the first state to implement it.

Rane has also got the consent from the state 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 following opposition from certain section, is pressing hard for this new concept.

To ensure that every parent get their child screened, the health minister said, "If they don't screen the baby within 48 hours, than they will not be given a birth certificate.

Rane said the mandatory screening is adopted in places like Philippines, Bangladesh, Singapore and Abu Dhabi, and will be implemented in Dubai from first of January.

The health minister also said that the government intend to set up medical city in the state, which will not only increase tourism but also give Goans access to world class medical facilities, Rane said.

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