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'Goa to discontinue newborn baby screening prog'

PTI  Panaji, July 31, 2012
First Published: 12:40 IST(31/7/2012) | Last Updated: 13:55 IST(31/7/2012)

The Goa government has decided to scrap the scheme to medically screen all new born babies in the state through a private agency.

State health minister Laxmikant Parsekar told the state legislative assembly that Goa was spending Rs. 8.33 crore on the scheme, which can instead be used to improve rural healthcare facilities like Primary Health Centres (PHCs) or Community Health Centres (CHCs).

The minister made this announcement on the floor of the house Monday night responding to questions raised during passing of the demands for grants on health department.

The medical screening was done to detect metabolic disorders among the new born children.

Neo-Gen Lab, Bangalore was awarded the work to conduct the tests.

"Through these screenings we have found that one of 9,000 babies born at GMC has an amino acid disorder, one out of 11,500 babies has fatty acid disorder and one of 30,000-40,000 has an organic acid disorder," the minister told the Assembly.

"No doubt, we are the first state in the country to do this but I would rather spend the money on improving our PHCs and CHCs," Parsekar said.

Launched in 2008, the babies were being screened under the programme for nearly 50 inborn metabolic disorders.

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